Lucky Dragons and Stephen Prina: Rockin' part of Andrew Witkin's installation at the ICA
Wayward visitors spilling into Andrew Witkin's Untitled 1997–2007 installation at the ICA last Sunday nearly tripped over Luke Fischbeck, who was crouched over an array of electrified sticks, shakers, tiny drums, and flutes. Fischbeck, who was performing as half of the experimental Lucky Dragons, was set up at the front of the space that Witkin had built to mimic his own workspace (complete with day bed, used bath towels, and a workbench with photos, ticket stubs, and notebooks arranged with OCD exactitude). He patiently handed frayed cables to the 30-or-so audience members sitting on the floor before him (among them a cherub-faced tot with Campbell's Soup–kid hair) and instructed them to press the wires to themselves and hold hands, forming a human synthesizer that pulled a fuzzy drone up in volume and pitch as more bodies joined the circuit.
"The best kind of rock show is a house show," said Witkin, snapping pictures on his cellphone. "So I thought it would work great to flip the idea of coming to a gallery or museum and finding this. There are even kids here today who heard about it on MySpace."
The Lucky Dragons event was the finale of the month's worth of diverse Sunday-afternoon shows in Witkin's space. A week earlier, Stephen Prina — renowned artist, filmmaker, and occasional member of deconstructed punk band the Red Krayola — stood on a chair strumming an acoustic guitar. Prina kept it sweet and personal, dedicating songs to friends in the room and crooning a lullaby-style "All the Young Dudes."
The Lucky Dragons show, though, enjoyed the distinct advantage of having the just-opened Shepard Fairey exhibit across the hall, which increased foot traffic some tenfold. Fischbeck took it in stride and responded like an avant-garde Mr. Rogers, smiling at guests, handing them rocks he had grabbed from a pile of rubble outside the ICA, and humming into a tricked-out mic to produce ghostly atmospherics.
"Have you ever gotten to do this stuff for kids before?" asked Witkin after the show.
"Actually, yeah," said Fischbeck. "I'm jaded."
: Live Reviews
, Andrew Witkin, ICA, Shepard Fairey