LINDSEY M WHITTLE (SPARKLEZILLA)
“#spikow2” was the fourth and final performance I instigated as part of the three-person exhibition “Archive As Action.” In 2014, I married fellow artist Clint Basinger at the Contemporary Art Museum in Cincinnati, OH. We saw it as an opportunity to hijack the museum for a night and asked all of our artist friends to give us performance art at our reception as wedding gifts (#spikow).
The conceptual thread of my work is about connection and bringing minds together. I make art about my wedding (including making a new wedding dress every year), and build out work from art made with my husband. So when I was invited into an exhibit at the same museum as my wedding, I knew the final performance had to re-enact our wedding performances.
For “#spikow2,” we created new wedding invites and mailed them to the original wedding guests, but also invited strangers, blurring the lines between life and an art event. We invited all the original wedding performers to reenact or evolve their performances, and added new performers that we met since getting married. I wore each of my wedding dresses for different phases of the night, and was the ringmaster for this elaborate happening that was timed down to five minute intervals.
There were many beautiful moments from that night; it was a perfect second wedding on our four-and-a-half-year wedding anniversary. An elevator flash mob sometimes overpowered the poetry reading and the performer typing on a typewriter with their toes. Hypnotism turned an artist into a dog, absurd interviews were recorded, and a fashion show flowed down the stairs into the lobby of the Zaha Hadid structure. Two performance artists used levels to balance their bodies with the incredible building. I had a last dance with a friend in the clothing of her grandparents, I sang a cross country wedding song and restated five years of vows with my husband. Our friend made pies for both weddings (#spikow and #spikow2), and a local bakery sculpted our second colorful cake. Two high contrast, masked performers did acrobatic stunts with a poodle puppy and video art played on repeat in the basement “Black Box.” Our friend captured the essence of the event in images while my little sisters shot video.
We plan to reenact our weddings every five years. We look forward to our 2024 wedding opera “#spikow3” about the first two weddings.