A Spastic Sculpture Meets its End Tonight

June 05, 2015

Even if you never knew what they were called, you’ve definitely seen an air dancer. They’re those floppy dudes filled with air that flail about worldwide in front of car dealers and other businesses advertising super sales. Though Jeremy Mende isn’t the first artist to explore this ridiculous, iconic capitalist symbol, he’s probably the first to custom-build one, tether it to a pole, and clock the countdown to its demise. As Mende explains, his air dancer named Lucky is inspired by “the idiot-philosopher from Sam Beckett’s 1953 play Waiting for Godot. Lucky the air dancer has been struggling against the illuminated post for the last 10 weeks. The clock has been running the entire time, counting down to the point where Lucky either breaks free from his shackles, or dies trying. By all accounts, it looks like he will be be dead (significant rips and tears are already appearing).”

Watch Lucky’s graceful exit at a closing performance tonight at the SFAC Gallery. At the opening event, there were people dressed up in goofy air dancer costumes, so you can bet the closing party will feature something equally weird. The gallery further describes Mende's installation, "Untitled (This is a metaphor, No. 3) is the third installment of an ongoing series of works that reframe everyday objects in order to reveal distinct tensions that shape our identities, anxieties, and relationships." Suddenly, it all makes sense.