Hello and welcome to my critique. I have made a sculpture, “Exchange Values,” which I will be presenting today for our discussion. But before we begin, I’d like to introduce you to Anthony, who is a nationally certified massage therapist—and now, he will read a prepared statement.
(massage therapist introduces the critique)
Welcome to the final critique of the day. Before we begin this process, I’d like to introduce myself and say a little bit about why I am here. My name is Anthony and I am a nationally certified massage therapist. I graduated from the Muscular Therapy Institute, completing a 900 hour intensive program and have had over 6 years of experience in professional massage. I offer Swedish, deep tissue work, sports massage, hot stone, and cranio-sacral therapy. During my free time, I am also an artist, like most of you. I primarily work with paint and canvas. Benjamin asked me to participate in this situation today by providing cranio-sacral massage to whoever is speaking in the space at a given moment.
In light of this information, I kindly ask you to allow me ample time to get around the room to whoever is going to speak next. Basically what I’m going to do is move behind you and gently massage you. Before speaking, please indicate you wish to do so by raising your hand and I will get around to you. For those of you who don’t know, cranio-sacral massage is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the function of the cranio-sacral system. It’s a very gentle approach which helps realign your spine and neurotransmitters at the same time.
This form of massage deals with the bones of the head, spinal column, sacrum and the underlying structures. It employs a very light touch and uses specifically designed techniques to release restrictions and compression in these areas. Ok? So, please take a few minutes and we’ll begin the critique.
(gallery door opens and critics/students walk in)
(5 minutes lapse)
I would like you all to feel free to comment on the massage therapist who is present with us today but I want to say that I have nothing to say of the massage therapist other than the gesture is not an artwork, and it only exists as one of the many affective presences in the gallery during the ritual of critique today.
I have a question. In a commercial gallery setting, is the massage therapist always there?
(massage therapist approaches Critic #1 and provides massage: laughter)
If so, my first experience is that the work rubs me the right way.
This is very interesting…I’m wondering if there are any topics that lead the massage therapist to other parts of the body?
I see this event as competing with this sculptural work. And so, for me…the initial…
(massage therapist approaches her and provides massage)
…event is a work in itself and I’m not sure how to read it in relation to the sculpture or the video piece. As I look around, I realize that very few people are paying attention to the sculpture and the video. The relationship between the installation and the massage event is confusing to me.
But what a relationship!
Perhaps the massage is a clue to understanding…
(massage therapist approaches Student #2 and provides massage—Student #2 turns to the massage therapist)
Please get away from me.
(a few critics sit in Director’s Chair with the word “Pervert” embroidered on it, at different times)
No, I’m only teasing. As I was saying, maybe the massage I’m receiving is a clue to understanding the relationship between the different objects in the room. I’m curious about the boxing glove on the plunger. For instance, I wouldn’t imagine a boxer cleaning a toilet while he’s wearing his fighting glove. And then there’s a bust sitting at the head of the table, and the table has some strange, glossed over finish. The title of the installation is “Exchange Values” and there’s money dropping from the hand of the subject in the video. All the while I’m getting a free massage…I’m definitely happy.