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February 4, 2005

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Dead Girls
at Priceless Works Gallery
by nicole grant, ragan peck, and vital 5
was a series of art installations portraying
women who met untimely deaths through
various forms of mayhem: shot prostitute
in a dumpster, electrocuted electrician,
two young suicides, lynching victim, botched
abortion, and the Laura Palmeresque corpse
wrapped in plastic you see here. I volunteered
to keep guard over Sarah, who much to my
discomfort was lying in a pool of blood
on the terminated pregnancy operating
table. My role was transformed from
bodyguard to that of distraught boy-
friend--which wasn't much of a reach
'cause it made me unhappy to see
her playing dead in a puddle of gore.
My post was conveniently adjacent
to the back of the bar, and just before she
went into her 2-hour motionless pose I said,
The day you die is when I become a drunk.
You're already a drunk, she replied, closing her
eyes. Maybe she was right. After one beer,
I switched to red wine. I was the only living
character and many found my grief to be more
disturbing than the inert bodies. After it was over,
vodka was passed around and soon thereafter
I blacked out. I regained my senses on Matt Ford's
couch. How'd I get here? I asked, then began banging
on the piano. It sounded good to me but I was alone
in that opinion. The next day, squinting through a
hangover, I asked if at least I'd been charming. Sarah
informed me I'd been loud and dropped a beer bottle
in the street. Well, at least she was alive to tell me.