Polish artist Pawel Althamer, who in April closed his exuberant, expansive installation, performance, and sculpture show at the New Museum, to which museum visitors were invited to contribute, took his roving party to Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City last Friday night to mark the end of his sculpture Queen Mother of Reality‘s run in the park, along with RoseLee Goldberg, the director of Performa, which commissioned the work for its 2013 biennial.
The event was about family, Althamer said. His guests, invited to an American-style barbecue with burgers and sausages and craft beer, got to walk into his huge battleship-like big-mama sculpture, which had been assembled with the aid of a large team, and ascend the throne area featuring a pathetic little straight-backed chair.
Looking at a sign attributing the artwork to him, Althamer insisted that it was wrong. “It shouldn’t say I’m the artist,” he proclaimed. Then who is the artist? “There should be more—everybody who worked on it.” And that included his son, “All my children are artists,” he said, adding that he has seven—by two wives. And then he slipped off to greet his mother, who was also in attendance.