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.