This past Saturday, December 12th, marked the date of the annual P&H Art Bazaar, an arts flea market for fine Memphis art patrons and daytime drunks to shop for holiday gifts. Although the turnout was considerably less than previous years, the loyal attendees were treated to a badass interactive performance piece hosted by Gadsby Creson, wife of P&H arts advocate Dwayne Butcher, and one of my personal favorite MCA staff members.
Gathering all of the unsuspecting guests around a pool table covered in brightly spraypainted beer bottles, vases, and handmade ceramic knick knacks (which appear may have been boosted from a elementary school art class), Creson led everyone in several too many rounds of Jingle Bells, all the while "checking on the turkey" in the oven, ensuring the guests of her "holiday party" all had drinks, and answering phone call after annoying phone call from the dreaded mother with no navigational skills.
After ten minutes of agonizing group singing and ten or eleven answered phone calls Creson, got flustered, grabbed an armful of vases and ran outside, leaving the four rounds of carolers trailing off in confusion. As we slowly herded outside, we found Gadsby chucking the glassware and a fireplace mantle made from cinderblocks, complete with tacky stockings, screaming in frustration about her mother's surprise holiday visits.
The moral of the story? No moral. But the point, Creson explained, was a response to the overwhelming stress and wastefulness of the holiday season. The breakables were hocked off for 25 cents a piece, and participants chucked them off the back porch of the P&H Cafe at the concrete fireplace in an attempt to relieve that stress.
No one could resist. Even in freezing temperatures and misting rain, it was two hours of consistent bottle smashing before the ammo was exhausted.
Hats off to Gadsby for thinking of such a fun way to blow off steam, and for keeping the P&H's take on art unconventional, interesting, and best of all, destructive.
And thanks to Dwayne Butcher for hosting another successful year of happenings at the P&H Centre for the Arts.
...and I apologize again for hitting your truck with bouncing ceramics...