On Procession (and going no where)

1 04 2008

     On Procession is the brain child of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Herron School of Art at IUPUI.   The end product is to be three giant pull toys representing a donkey, a jackass, and a mule which are to be paraded down the streets of Fountain Square on April 26, 2008 as part of the East Meets West Interchange Overpass Parade.  This blog will explore and attempt to understand what this event is all about and what relevance it has for the Indianapolis community and the greater community at large.

     From the beginning of the semester upon hearing of my class’ upcoming involvement with the Allison Smith Project, I was skeptical.  On Tuesday, January 15th,  the artist gave a talk at the Herron School of Art on the project and IUPUI’s part in it.   The flyer given out during the talk was intriguing but puzzling.  The concept of a donkey, a jackass, and a mule constructed of layered plywood and made into  giant pull toys to head a parade seemed a bit silly to me.  To add to the puzzling concept, was a call to action for historical re-enactors and other artists and crafts people to create materials for this parade.  A few weeks later, the concept of the East meets West Parade through Fountain Square meeting up at the Virginia Street Overpass of I-65 made me laugh.  I was already not on board for this project and to add a parade with the concept of east meets west through Fountain Square just sounded corny to me.  Who is this parade for?   Who would care about this parade?  Who would be its audience?  What is the true purpose behind the parade?  What would it cost the city of Indianapolis to pull off the parade?  Just how much money is the Indianapolis Museum of Art shelling out fo this artist and her equine procession?  How do the Herron School of Art students feel about being the free labor for the making of these animals?