Walnut Farms, Iowa City, IA. 2010
This was another educational event set up by our own David Dunlap. We enjoyed staying on his property and setting up a room in his garage/studio for our event that eventually became the Klunthouse. We also had a very influential field trip set up by Dave, at one of the University’s art galleries, in which we had historian introduce us to a handful of artifacts from African rituals. From this experience we got the mascot for our show – a boli, which is an animal like sculpture made by African tribes to keep away witches. In addition, we did a panel lecture with graduate students in the painting program at the University of Iowa.
Before the panel lecture/discussion, Jay gave us all ski masks that he’d gotten in Mexico from the Zapatista rebels. We wore these for our discussion, and I think it went very well. Later, hundreds of students showed up for the performance/installation at Dave’s place, and I don’t think we were prepared for the amount of people. Dave’s daughter Nelle and her friends put on a cabaret performance on the back porch, and then somebody started a fire with the huge amounts of deadfall and brush on Dave’s property. There was an amazing amount of energy and rowdiness. In the end, there was a huge bonfire, lots of loud music, chainsawing and some amazing and huge paintings and sculptures. The police came by to ask us to stop chainsawing around midnight, and to turn the music down. They left quickly. Late that night, we made a boli by the light of the several story tall fire.
I don’t think the students were prepared for us, nor us for them, but in the end it was a great time, and some amazing work and new ideas came out of it.