In a nutshell, here is what I witnessed. A dark room wreaking of marijuana with t-shirts and hats labeled “Fraud,” draped haphazardly amongst a faux spider web covering the entire length of the room. A small pink-lit closet with a cohort of eccentrically-dressed musicians monotonously banging on drums. An office space with eight or so cubicles, each one with a different scene inside – a policeman’s desk plentifully bestrewn with crime reports, a game-room cubicle where, judging by the Pac Man machine and disco ball, no work was getting done, a caution-taped cubicle with fake money pouring out of the cracks and, well that’s all I remember.
Stepping into the Beauty Parlor, we passed a small room with nothing but a naked, blindfolded girl dancing gracefully to the sound of silence, a mirror full of lipstick kisses (probably a message that we need to love ourselves more), a row of vanities with sayings like “Fake it ‘till you make it” or “Everyone is wearing this now” printed on the mirrors and a beauty counter with hundreds of bedazzled banana peels. Yes, you read that right.
Two rooms of porn complete with virtual reality glasses and a toilet bowl filled to the brim with shiny naked Barbies. A traveling exhibit of an angry bride and his lesbian lover dancing to the death. A wildly annoying little man named Manny who insisted on being our photographer for the night, and who two hours later still believed my friend Natalie’s name was Carla. (That wasn’t a part of the exhibit, I just thought I would share).
“There were absolutely no boundaries and the “Look don’t touch” rule of art was definitely nonexistent in the atmosphere that the artists created. The components all had a theme and a message and attained everyone’s attention. It was impossible to ignore the eerie and boundless energy of it all,” Abatemarco said.
By the end of the night, which contained more art than I care to put into any more words as I rapidly exceed the 500-word limit I was given by my editor, I was drained. But drained in a good way. Drained in a – I just saw, heard, tasted and felt more weird art in three hours than I probably ever will in my life – kind of way.
Raw popup was revolutionary. It taught me a few things. One: material possessions are worthless. Two: human emotions are invaluable. Three: at Art Basel, weed is apparently as essential as your right shoe.