Critcheloe's video is one of 10 short "art shows" to be performed one after the other this Saturday at La Movida Gallery. The rapid-fire series of video, music, film, and performance pieces was conceived as a project for a Kansas City Art Institute class, but the artists wanted to offer something besides the "go to a gallery, look at some pretty pictures, and leave" scenario.
When viewers arrive at La Movida, the walls will be bare. There are no objects in the show; rather, there's work such as Patrick Frye's "Smile," a five-minute video of himself smiling. Considering the friendly nature of the gesture, it's hard to believe that Frye himself will be in the audience enjoying the spectacle of viewers' discomfort -- but, then, who smiles for five minutes without some juicy secret?
Maybe the subjects of Critcheloe's "I'm Serious." It's a series of interviews with members of various subcultures -- notably the "Angry, Young, & Rich" crowd Critcheloe invented by posting fliers and distributing 'zines all over town. While Critcheloe wants to make art that isn't elitist, many subcultures tend to be elitist; the actual people behind the stereotypes have reasons for their behavior that only they understand. Everyone knows, for example, that rave kids wear candy bracelets, but how many people really know why? Critcheloe solves his conundrum by forgetting about people and dealing exclusively with the stereotypes.
"It could either be bad-bad or good-bad," he says of "I'm Serious," which he's still working on. "You can have bad taste with wit, and then you can just have bad taste." We'll assume the Vans may be a clue as to which kind Critcheloe's movie has.