WASHINGTON -- The Transformers villain Megatron will be honored at a wake this weekend. But the wake will take place in a somewhat unusual spot: an art gallery in the sunroom of a working artist's home.
We're not sure how seriously to take "Megatron's Dead," described in promotional materials as "a multimedia experience honoring the cultural icon Megatron, leader of the Decepticons. Join the artists, visitors, and other interested parties in celebrating MEGATRON'S life and achievements while also paying your respects at the character graveyard."
Mariah Johnson, a painter and installation artist entering her second year of running exhibition space Porch Projects out of her home in Capitol Hill, told The Huffington Post she's not sure how seriously to take the exhibition, either.
HuffPost recently caught up with Johnson to find out more about her sunroom gallery and Tranformers as art.
The Huffington Post: Tell me about your gallery.
Mariah Johnson: It's not really a gallery. It's in my house. I call it a domestic exhibition space. It's in its own category, I guess. It has to do with artists supporting each other and using the resources we have at hand in a communal fashion. It's in a back room in my house that used to be a sleeping porch. If you can imagine a back porch, that's kind of it. It's just a little bitty room. It faces the back of the house. People who come definitely know that they're in my house.
HuffPost: Do you keep hours there? Is it open to the public?
Johnson: It's by appointment when it's not the opening.
HuffPost: What have the other shows been like?
Johnson: Last year I did five shows. There hasn't been too much traditional media. There's been a lot of installation. There's been performance. Some sound work. A lot of the shows have been site-specific. Artists tend to see it as rich with possibility.
HuffPost: When you're selecting shows for "Porch Projects," do you partly choose based on what art you want to live with?
Johnson: Not really. It's more about: Are the artists who are looking at it really thinking about the space? Does it seem like they're really pushing themselves to try something new? Does it seem like this experience is going to be beneficial for them, or is it just another resume item?
HuffPost: Can you tell me about the show that's opening this week?
Johnson: It's called 'Megatron's Dead.' It's a collaboration among three artists [Bonner Sale, Samuel Scharf and Zac Willis] who are either current MFA students or who recently completed their MFAs at American [University]. They all have interest individually in pop culture. One or two in particular have interest in action figures and super heroes, comics, to work with as fodder for art.
It's going to be a multimedia exhibition. There's a performance aspect, there's installation, there's sculpture and there's painting.
I'm interested to see exactly what the attitude of the show is. If the artists are taking a farcical look at this. Or if it's very serious. I think it might be somewhere in the middle. I'm anxious to see exactly how that pans out. I think that's where the real interest is, is in how seriously do they take it, and how seriously should we take it as the audience.
"Megatron's Dead" opens on Saturday at "Porch Projects," with an opening reception from 4-7 p.m. and a remembrance speech for Megatron at 5 p.m. To find out the address for "Porch Projects," email Johnson at porchprojectsdc [at] gmail [dot] com.
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