Week 32 : Fatal Art Attack


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Copyright The Washington Post Company Oct 10, 1993

A man is crucified, with nails, to the back of a 1964 Volkswagen Beetle. A friend drives him around San Francisco.

A naked man locks himself in a closet with a coyote. They howl. A puzzled crowd gathers.

A priest conducts an elaborate wedding ceremony, complete with Scripture and organ music and best man and maid of honor, joining forever in holy matrimony the Statue of Liberty and a statue of Christopher Columbus.

A woman shakes hands with every garbageman in New York City.

A man circles the globe in a boat, dropping elaborately engraved boulders into the ocean, where they will sink to the bottom, never to be seen again unless the earth dries up, all life perishes, and we are visited by aliens.

A man passes through his body an entire double-decker bus. He does this by chopping it into bite-size portions, and eating it. It takes five years.

We thought of this week's contest after reading about a performance artist who got a $4,000 grant to paint feminist phrases on the sides of 70 cows, one word per cow, and then letting the cows graze so the words got jumbled. Is this a great country, or what?

This week's contest: In 50 words or fewer, describe a performance art concept that might get public funding. Winners will be audacious enough to seem like art, but pretentious enough to seem to have a social "message." Hey, this can't be very hard. All of the examples above are real. Someone proposed them, someone funded them, and they got performed. First-prize winner receives an elegant, adult-size Fred Flintstone costume, delivered in time for Halloween, a value of about $50. Runners-up, as always, get the coveted Style Invitational losers' T-shirts. Winners will be selected on the basis of humor and originality. Mail your entries to the Style Invitational, Week 32, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or fax them to 202-334-4312. Entries must be received on or before Monday, Oct. 18. Please include your address and phone number. Winners will be announced in three weeks. No purchase necessary. Employees of The Washington Post and their immediate families are not eligible for prizes. Report from Week 29, in which we asked you for unfortunate advertising slogans:

Yeah, yeah. We know. "Eureka Vacuum Cleaners: We Really Suck." And, "Miami: A Vacation to Die For." Our rule of thumb is that if more than two people come up with the same idea, regardless of its wit, it flunks the originality test. So we cannot honor by name the four entrants who submitted this most excellent slogan: "Denny's. For People With Discriminating Taste." We also will not name the individual, well known to many of you, who gets a gigantic goose egg this week, a feeble zero, the big bagel, the toilet seat of shame, because he stank up the joint with his highly inadequate entries. Hahahaha. No shirts this week for your bulging closet, Mister I-Am- So-Clever-by-Half!

Not that we are bitter. Sixth Runner-Up: "Miami. Gateway to

Paradise." (Rick von Behren, Glenn Dale) Fifth Runner-Up: The
Saturn. "Remember That First Car of Your Dreams? We Recall Ours."
(Kurt Rabin, Arlington) Fourth Runner-Up: The City of Los Angeles.
"We'll Treat You Like a King." (Michael R. Megargee, Arlington)
Third Runner-Up: "Lincoln. The Cadillac of Cars." (Gary Patishnock,
Laurel) Second Runner-Up: Trojan Condoms. "It's the One Your

Father Used." (Christina Bahl, Columbia)

First Runner-Up: Sears Auto Repair. "No Problem, We'll Fix It." (Geoff and Jacki Drucker, Arlington) And the winner of the life- size inflatable moose head:

The Hubble Telescope Corp.: "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!" (Tom Gearty, Arlington)

Honorable Mentions: Aquaban Diuretic: "We're Number One!" (Tom
Gearty, Arlington) Otis Elevators: "We Won't Let You Down." (Mary

Ann Curtin, Annapolis; also, Geoff and Jacki Drucker, Arlington)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco: "A Growth Industry." (Susan Wenger, Montgomery Village)

Pepsi-Cola: "Don't Get Stuck With Any Other Soft Drink." (Gene Lesser, Falls Church; also, Holly Hacker, Rockville)

Amtrak: "Take the Plunge!" (David M. Howe, Pittsburgh)

Cellular One Telephone: "We Don't Give You a Lot of Talk." (Michael Scott, Arlington)

"Switch to Clearasil. Break Out From the Pack." (Michael Scott, Arlington)

Suzuki Samurai: "You'll Flip Over Our Low Prices." (Sheryl Katz, Washington; also, Katherine Fink, Burke)

Midas Brakes: "There's No Stopping Us Now!" (Ed Leonardo, Arlington; also, Paul F. Krause, Fredericksburg)

Bell Atlantic Cellular Phones: "When You Talk, We Listen." (Roz Jonas, Bethesda)

Dinty Moore Beef Stew: "We Put a Little Bit of Ourselves Into Everything We Do!" (Anne-Marie Da Costa, Fairfax Station) Weight Watchers: "Join Us. You Can't Lose." (Walter H. Kopp, Annandale)

AT&T: "We Stay Busy for You." (Walter H. Kopp, Annandale)

Denny's: "A Taste of the Old South." (Tony Buckley, Washington)

Michelin: "Going Flat Out to Keep Your Business." (Peggy Hyde, Charlottesville)

Schick Razors: "A Cut Above the Rest." (Fran Ludman, Baltimore)

Chiquita Bananas: "We'll Spoil You Rotten." (Michael Fribush, Burtonsville) Packwood Reelection Committee: "Keeping in Touch With Our Constituents." (Michael R. Megargee, Arlington)

Next Week: The Rorschach of the Crowd.


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