Sunday, October 5, 2008
Lawrence Welk & James Brown Adventure
Friday evening I had a delightful evening in Richmond, VA at the Broad St 1st Friday art gallery openings. The weather was most pleasant and people were out and about, traveling from gallery to gallery, as these things go. Finally we came upon an installation that caught my eye. Through an open door I saw a large screen with dancers cavorting. It drew me in and up close, I realized the film was of vintage Lawrence Welk - Bobby & Cissy cavorting and other dancers and singers. The film was silent but music was playing in the room through a boom box. Fabulous classic James Brown. Then in a serendipitous way, the dancing and the music came into synch and the Lawrence Welk performers were doing all their routines – perfectly –to James Brown. It was a laugh-out-loud delight. I was captured by it and hung around the space for quite awhile, watching other people discover that moment of synchronization and also laughing out loud in delight. I searched the space for a clue to the artist, to no avail. My brother-in-law Barry observed that the building housed a recording outfit and we speculated that the bit had been put together by them.
I visited another gallery, but returned to the dance and music. I began a chat with a woman outside the space, shared my delight and the recording company idea and my desire to find the artist. She laughed and said it wasn’t the recording company but actually, her and her husband, who also did the other found-object installations in the space.
She shared that the whole thing had started when they were actually watching old Lawrence Welk shows on the Richmond PBS station. They turned off the television sound and turned on a James Brown CD and yes, voila – in time it all came into synch!
So thanks to Tara and husband for sharing their serendipitous experience and making it become an art moment. They don’t have a website, so I can only share this tale of their work with you.
Images: Tara the artist & the installation