by Ruthie Paulson Gómez | photography by Gina Grover
The entryway leading into the Odd Ball was through a black hole tunnel of sorts. Inside the Odd Ball a recurring theme seemed to be a fluorescent green luminescence. Even the white cosmopolitan drinks were served in fluorescent green martini glasses!
Odd Ball “alien chic” attendees were able to view UICA’s 2012 Artprize exhibition entitled “Somewhere Else,” where viewers are transported to another world. “The senses were saturated with stunning live performances, cosmic immersive music and tantalizing food.”
For the first time ever, the UICA allowed guests to ascend to the new 4th and 5th floors. A “Cooling Lounge” can be discovered on the 5th floor, which gives the effect of stepping into another dimension. It is in this room that one realizes that the florescent green martini glasses are in fact glow-in-the dark! Four men wearing shades and silver keffiyehs on their heads (Oddball Alien Sheiks) are the Lazerboyz light display artists of said Cooling Lounge.
A cave-like structure looms from the 4th floor. Ryan McDaniel from New York is the artist of this piece entitled Anxiety. “I go into different spaces and overwhelm or envelop the space with paper bags. This one has 8,200 of them. I physically breathe into each paper bag, and create a structure out of them. The act of breathing into the paper bag is a reference to hyperventilation. It’s combined with architecture, but at the same time it’s really organic. It gives a disoriented or uncomfortable feeling. Filling the paper bags with breath was a long process over 5 days, 12 hours each.”
Artist group ABCD 83 (Anthony, Bryan, Chris, and David) presented their piece entitled “More or Less.” Hailing from the Chicago graffiti and skateboarding scene, this team of artists has put together a found objects installation sculpture which includes motion graphics. On the wall hangs the piece “Trash Bird” which is a conglomeration of objects found in Puerto Rico where Chris lived for 4 years.
Performance artist Audria Larsen (Miss Audacious) was a whirlwind shimmering silver sensation as she hooped throughout the evening.
“This Isn’t Much Unless You’re Here” by Dana Haugaard from Iowa City “Is about you, and you here; About you feeling and seeing yourself in new and unexpressed ways. That we are here, that we are real, that we exist.” Looking in a mirror as one stands on a wooden floor, vibrations can be felt through the body, coming up from the floor.
UICA’s Odd Ball 2012 was an evening of fantasy and delight, unveiling many unexpected surprises throughout the night!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ruthie Paulson Gomez thinks, dreams, and loves in two languages: English and Spanish. She modeled professionally in Milan and Nice and now works in the nonprofit sector in West Michigan. Other past-times include tango dancing and sunflower-raising.