The Talent Show

What constitutes public and private spheres has shifted dramatically over the years. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, computer-literate people can know exactly what news articles their friends have read and approve of, where they are going this weekend, and what they fed their kids for breakfast. Curious about how Lindsay Lohan spent the previous evening? Check TMZ. And a blind date isn't so blind when you have Google. "The Talent Show," the Walker's latest exhibit, explores art from the past that eerily speaks to our present era of hyper-celebrity. In 1970 Adrian Piper installed a book on a pedestal, provided a pen, and invited visitors to write anything they pleased. The responses were not unlike a Facebook or MySpace wall: some political, others confessional, and some by people who stated they were too uncomfortable to truly make their thoughts public. In the 1970s, Chris Burden would disappear as part of his performance art. The Walker interestingly compares this act with the occurance of "going off the grid," where (according to a new definition) an individual will delete all social networking accounts, and eschew the internet. In 1983 Sophie Calle turned a chance finding of a personal address book into an invasive experiment in unwanted celebrity, calling up, interviewing, and the publishing peoples' thoughts on the owner of the book. The artists featured in "Talent" blur the lines between viewer and participant, and artist and experience facilitator, as well as the shifting borders of anonymity, privacy, notoriety, and fame. (Pictured: Philip-Lorca diCorcia, David Theodore Lane, 27, Tucson, AZ, $30)
April 10-Aug. 15, 2010

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