And she became a ghost, 2016.
an experiential piece in the form of a guided tour
A guided tour for the works of a visiting was advertised. The artists and the works were fabricated, but people did not know that...
And She Became a Ghost is a public intervention designed to expose people who interact with a familiar space to the concept of being and becoming a ghost. The artwork is a fabricated art show belonging to a hypothetical and mythical artist. Staged in McNeal Hall, part of the University of Minnesota campus, the artwork consisted of five interventions smoothly integrated in the pre-existing built environment.
During an open house evening, museum style didactics were placed in five locations around the building. A wall, a set of windows, a stairway shelter, an empty unlit room, a mirror in the ladies’ room and an elevator were all used in the making of this experiential piece. The audience had a map to guide them through these locations at their own pace.
Yet, a special tour was also provided, where a “fake” museum docent led visitors, who were unaware of the concept, through the building. The docent introduced the artist and guided the unaware audience members through the pieces and shared fictional, yet realistic, tales of how the tour would transform them into ghosts and again into humans.
The audience members’ first experience with the becoming of a ghost was generated by asking them to look at their reflections on a set of windows. Since the show took place in the evening and the indoor environment was well lit, the reflections were barely there and hence, they appeared ghostly. They then entered an extremely cold stairway shelter and were asked to reflect on how the chilliness they felt represented the passage of others through the space. They then left the stairway to visit a dark and unlit classroom and were asked to walk briefly through it and face their fear of the dark. They later entered a restroom to look at their reflections in the mirror. The last piece took place in an elevator that took the audience back to the hallway where their journey started.
In this piece, the artist was the facilitator of an experience. The role of the written didactics was to generate an intellectual and emotional response to a familiar space by introducing a hypothetical and intangible experience. While this series is sight specific and difficult to replicate, the notion of the ghosts is of is transient in the sense that is could live elsewhere.