Halloween was some weeks back but there is still much chatter among Education staff about the costumes we wore and saw at the Whitney’s Halloween Party on October 31, 2013. The party celebrated the opening of the exhibition, Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980. Jay Sanders, curator of the exhibition and the Whitney’s Curator of Performance said that performance artists often premiered their works on Halloween, so he thought there was no better way to celebrate the opening of this exhibition than to invite guests to view the works dressed in costumes.
Not surprisingly, there were more guests at this party dressed as artists (dead or alive) and artworks than as superheroes or scary creatures. Check out the slideshow below and see if you can name the artist or the artwork—without looking at the captions!
Other artwork costumes seen roaming about the Museum included Robert Indiana’s EAT/DIE (1962) and part of Mike Kelly’s More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin (1987). A woman dressed as Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with Pearl Earring (1665) held a sign explaining that she snuck out of the Frick Collection (where the painting is currently on view) to come to this party at the Whitney.
As the Halloween party wound down around 11 pm, it was amusing to watch “artists” and especially “artworks” streaming out of the entrance onto the street, as if to avoid being locked up and held captive at the Museum!
By Ai Wee Seow, Coordinator of School and Educator Programs.