REGINA + Hello!
1971 [wrecked] Charger Installation and Performance, 2004
Brown’s exhibit of 33 paintings reflected on the artist’s 3 year period from Early 2001 to Early 2004 of amazing things – but also very hard things – called Life, which included: the loss of a great full-time job, an apartment eviction, 4 acts of international terrorism, 2 brain aneurysms [a girlfriend and a cat], the death of a friend [not the GF] and a National Magazine Gold Award for Art Direction.
One memorable incident, days before the exhibit opened, was being in a 1971 Dodge Charger [below] with J. Rose, Richard Lambert and Tom, a friend of Richard’s. Lambert was driving all 4 of us to Lee’s Palace on Bloor St. at Bathurst St. However an accident occurred northward on Ossington Avenue, which – synchronistically – was painted by Brown 10 weeks earlier, in the painting. The exact point of impact had been pre-recorded by Brown in the work – black smudge with word “Applause” scratched on top.
Prior to the exhibit Lambert was going to lend Brown the car for the exhibit’s opening weekend only – but since it was seriously damaged, he graciously loaned it for the whole month that the exhibit was on. It turned out to be the SUN of the whole exhibit.
The installation was called Hello! [Drive-by]: a windsurfing board painted with blue house paint laid beneath the front left side of the car; a pile of personal belongings wrapped in a blue blanket was placed at the rear; an American flag with the painted words DRIVE*BY hanging from the passenger window, the letter Brown & Rose wrote to Lambert requesting the car for the full 4 weeks was stuck to the driver’s window; animal-stuffies lay along the back window shelf with the book ‘Six Great Ideas’; and a CD by The Carpenters was heard coming from a boombox behind the right rear wheel.
Brown and Rose entered the gallery opening night, in a self-designed IKEA suit and vintage wedding dress, from the Dodge Charger after consuming ‘delivered’ pizza and drinking Jagermeister. They sat in the car for over an hour and upon leaving the car and entering the gallery space, they spoon-fed a long line of gallery visitors cake and then ascended the stairs to change into other attire whilst hanging their ‘Charger’ clothes on the wall – as part of their 2nd Floor Exhibit. BRAVO [Canada] television recorded the happening for the national art TV network.
They only intended to perform “Hello!” once. But late arriving gallery-goers had heard about it from other visitors. So they were asked to perform it again, which they did at Midnight.
The spot where the word ‘Hello!’ was painted on Regina – SHE WAS EIGHTEEN, SHE WAS DRUNK EVERYNIGHT FOR TWO WEEKS STRAIGHT, IT WAS A CONTEST, SHE WAS FROM REGINA – is where the painting appears in the gallery relative to the Dodge Charger. But not with prior knowledge of this photo, which was taken opening night.
There are many other strange synchronicities with the accident and this painting below, which Brown is presently collecting.
EVERYTHING THAT MEANS SOMETHING TO ME,
AFTER OTHER THINGS THAT MEAN SOMETHING TO ME WENT AWAY.
Playing on the BoomBox. On repeat.
V-Wedding Dress [left and below], Black K-Cole Suit and IKEA Suit [far right]: July 22 – Aug 01 2004
Rose wore the Vintage Wedding dress in the car, Brown wore the black suit.
Rose changed into gallery-going gear after the performance, Brown changed into his self-styled, IKEA suit.
Beside the dress and suits:
LOVE [house paint on wood]
the 3rd in the series
HATE – 1993
FEAR – 1992