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Anticipation 

Two performance artists show you can learn a lot about humans by observing them in waiting rooms such as lobbies, train stations, and airports

Wednesday, Sep 19 2001
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There is something mysteriously alluring about transitional spaces -- lobbies, train stations, airports -- that inadvertently draws our attention and curiosity. Who hasn't watched passengers at the airport and been tempted to make up stories about them? Have you ever wondered what was wrong with the woman sitting in the doctor's office? We all note the strangely uniform flimsiness of the construction in such places, like movie sets in their seeming impermanence.

Local performance artists Mads Lynnerup and Chris Sollars take on this ubiquitous aspect of modern life in their new collaboration, We're Waiting. Using live video projection and their irreverent wit, the pair make wry commentary on this modern state. Lynnerup has already established a reputation for ingenious art gags that keep you thinking long after the laughter has died down. For one piece, he pasted a cardboard cutout of a tank onto an SUV and drove it around town, his own helmeted head sticking out the top, seeming to steer it. Another "happening" was his own art opening at a local Walgreens: Lynnerup had so cleverly packaged his artwork, complete with bar code, that he was able to sell it alongside the snow domes and coffee mugs; he also purchased juice and crackers to pass out to patrons as they came in, without interference from store employees.

Sollars, meanwhile, has been the author of his own irreverent, artsy pranks. He has mapped the density of cell-phone use in his neighborhood, recorded one side of cell-phone conversations and exhibited the audio samples next to portraits of the callers, and even performed as an annoying cell-phone talker during other artists' shows at the Lab. This first collaboration between two rising stars in the performance art world takes place as part of New Langton Arts' "Test Tube" series, which has hosted such cutting-edge artists as Robert Linder, Michelle Tea, and Mark Boswell over the past several years. Don't wait to see them.

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David Cook

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