So many things seem so one-note (clever/shallow) to me these days. Probably it's the weather. Anyway, after spending an afternoon being uncommonly annoyed at Northwest Bookfest ("Books 'R' Great!"), where the only pertinent question to ask an author seemed to be, "How'd you get that idea?" I thought I would go pay my respects to Vital 5 Productions' Westlake gallery, a place where there was usually more than one dimension (and if there wasn't, damn but that one joke was funny).
It's been official for some time now that Vital 5 had lost its lease, and that this month's exhibition, Big Time, would be the last in the Westlake location. It seems that those Vulcan folks are in a hurry to demo this fine old bit of mod architecture, which once housed a World's Fair showroom, and turn the land into some condos and a grocery store. But, as with death, it's not real until you see the body. I stopped by to see the body, which was being sold off in a garage sale that could only have been presided over by Greg Lundgren. Who tried to jolly me up, insisting that Vital 5 is far from over.
"The T-shirts are free, but the concepts are very expensive," he said. I poked around for a while among garbage that had the air of relics, in this case two-plus years of art and events, all of them fun, some of them marvelous: a red BK shirt worn by an actress in Manslaughter; a red minidress worn by one dirty, dirty Santa's helper; a chair left over from the Dysfunctional Chair Show--all poking-up nails and knives and sly invitations to S... I... T. There was a plastic horsy wired up with light bulbs, and a bridal registry's worth of plates and wine glasses. There was a little purple Barney doll. There was a lot of garbage that looked like garbage.
And while sifting through garbage didn't exactly make me happy, it did lift my mood. The dispersal of such earthly goods can only mean that Vital 5 will rise again. "Yeah, I've got some ideas," Lundgren said (including some unsanctioned public art, and a couple of books based on Vital 5: The Westlake Years). And before I left we made plans to make plans to have a drink and catch up. "I can't wait to socialize again," Lundgren said. "In a place other than here."