« gaming the gates | Main | the gates at columbia »

March 28, 2005

The Fun of Making Fun

The Gates had an unmistakable joie de vivre; they were about fun, and parodies of the Gates attest to that. Their puzzling non-art/art status, their exuberant orange, their rhythmic repetition, their grand scale and defiantly ephemeral nature inspired a crop of brilliant parodies that entertained supporters and detractors alike.

The John Stewart show's hilarious commentary on the gates can be viewed On Lisa Rein's Radar.

Artist and photographer, khang kijarro nguyen is responsible for the toothpick gates executed february 2005 in central park, a site specific art installation coinciding with another site specific art installation of strikingly similar appearance in the back ground.

The miniature, Sommerville gates or Hargo's gates, as they were called, were perhaps the most widely-known. The website for the installation, which traces the pathways of creator Geoff Hargadon's cat through his Sommerville apartment, got 5.5 million hits in one week and Hargadon received about 3,000 e-mails from fans and academics.

In an equally hilarious tongue-in-cheek associated press article published on MSNBC's website Hargadon said that his project wasn't intended to mock the Central Park installation, which Hargadon visited last week and enjoyed. His target is the monumental hype…one review, which called "The Gates" the first great public art creation of the 21st century, pushed Hargadon over the edge. Soon he was at The Home Depot buying materials for his own project.

The article went on to say that Hargadon has no plans to make money from his gates. However, he does plans to auction one gate to benefit the Massachusetts College of Art.

"From what I can tell, it's majorly important for him to keep it pure," said friend and co-worker, Bart Smith.

The Sommerville Gates provoked discussion on dozens of blogs including, The Conversation Café and Brian Bernard's blog. Brian is a big fan of the Sommerville Gates and is assembling an archives of all the photos he can find, a sort of sister project to our Gates Memory archives.

I also love the simple parodies that focus on the orange color and the repeated motif such as the snack crackers parody.

Many visitors took pleasure in finding themselves or others costumed in similar saffron hues, as many of the photos uploaded to Flickr including Rochelle Ratner's shot of a man with orange scarf and pamplet attest. Some took it a step further, celebrating the Gates by participating in an orange-hued conga line. One Gates fan even created her own line of "Gates Viewing Attire."

Posted by kim white at March 28, 2005 1:22 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)