(See a slideshow of photos from the event here.)
Yesterday, the Art Guys unveiled their latest project, The Statue of Four Lies, in a ceremony at Lynn Eusan Park on the University of Houston campus. In typical "Art Guise" absurdist fashion (to match the absurd nature of the work), the event featured performance art by "Stu Mulligan" (Jim Pirtle) singing "God Bless America" while reading the lyrics off his own body, as well as a bizarre magic trick by "Okashunal 'OK' Sadubious BrownKlown" (Nestor Topchy). And what was up with the petting zoo?
The presence of Cougar cheerleaders added ironic school spirit to the ceremony, during which UH professor Richard Armstrong gave a stirring speech pointing out the ridiculousness of higher-education institutions, hilariously followed up by an informal dedication from UH Chancellor/President Dr. Renu Khator. The statues of Art Guys Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth (both UH grads) were revealed, and the crowd was encouraged to take a closer look.
The entire outdoor installation, which includes a curved wall engraved in Latin: "The World Wants to Be Deceived, So Let It Be Deceived," is ostensibly conservative in design, blending collegiate stodginess with wacky humor. It'll no doubt be a reminder to students that their educational and professional goals, however noble, important and worthy, shouldn't be pursued at the expense of having fun.
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Go to the slideshow.