Encountering a work of art can embarrass us, confuse us, set us into a rage, and even make us violent. Unfortunately, much of the art we encounter does none of the above. It may be colorful, or original, or clever. It may make us smile or admire the artist’s technical skill, or even inspire us to hang it in the dining room. But it’s the rare work of art that challenges our notions of the way things are; and the rare artist who wants us to consider doing something about it.
My guest today is Jay Critchley, an artist and activist whose visual, conceptual, and performance projects have made people think and laugh for many decades, not only in Provincetown, which he calls home, but increasingly in venues around the world. His work involves installations, rituals, and performances that comment on gender, sexuality, the environment, and corporate influence.
Among his projects you may remember the Old Glory Condom Corporation that made condoms in the image of the American Flag; his Miss Tampon Liberty gown, sewn from 3000 tampon dispensers; his sand-encrusted station wagon; or his annual Provincetown Harbor Swim For Life event has raised almost $4 milliom for AIDS, women’s health and the Provincetown community.
The Lowdown with Ira Wood, Tuesdays at 12:30 PM and Saturdays at 5:30 AM on WOMR-FM, a Pacifica Radio affiliate station. Streaming and podcasts on WOMR.ORG.