Not knowing exactly what to expect, I grabbed my trusty old Polaroid SX-70, a Flash Bar, and a pack of expired film and headed down to the Fox Motel to attend a conceptual/performance art event entitled “DTF”, hosted by Jessica Garcia & Wesley Harvey. For those of you who don’t know what the acronym DTF means, click here at your own risk. You’ve been warned, the rest of this blog post is probably NSFW…
The Fox Motel is a relic of a bygone era — a Motor Court, which was popular in the first half of the 20th Century as a place for people traveling by car to spend the night as they slowly made their way across the country. As they fell out of favor (and got bypassed as Interstate highways were built) Motor Courts transformed into “no-tell motels”. A place that you could rent for short periods of time in order to achieve sexual gratification (of sorts) with the partner of your choice, who generally required payment at the end of the session.
Perhaps that should give you a clue as to what the primary theme of DTF was, and you wouldn’t have been disappointed. As we walked up into the motel courtyard, we came upon a lively, mostly youthful crowd pouring beer out of a keg and listening to DJ El Fenix, who was ensconced in one of the carports spinning Daft Punk and other tunes. In other words, there was a seriously cool vibe going down.
I certainly hope there were no other guests trying to get it on at the Fox Motel that evening. We subsequently learned that the police had been called at last year’s event, due to a complaint from a guest in another room. And the security from Pearl was making a point to check on us periodically.
One of the many ironies of the Fox Motel is that it’s located off Broadway, north of downtown, in what was once an industrial area, across from the Pearl brewery. Nowadays, it finds itself one of the trendier parts of town…next to the Pearl Brewery complex. The newly-settled apartment dwellers across the street must have been scratching their heads with regards to the strange goings-on that evening at the Fox. And no, thankfully the police did not show up this time. But I digress…
Rooms 1 and 3 were wide open, and one could see glimpses of the art installations within. Room 2 was shut (who knows what was going on behind that closed door?), and Room 4 was the host to a performance art piece…with a long line of potential voyeurs waiting to witness the happenings within.
Wandering first into Room 1, we encountered a bed covered with printouts of craigslist ads from people looking for others who are DTF, so to speak. Most of them were basically too obscene to be described here, but let it suffice to say there were many graphic photos of males showing off their wares. Who knew this sort of stuff was going on over on craigslist? Personally, I think it’s a great place to find furniture and cars and cameras. But DTF…? Welcome to our Brave New World.
The rest of this installation consisted of provocative art on the walls, including a sign that basically said “F### ME”. Subtlety was not a key factor in this particular installation. Nor was it particularly photogenic, shall we say. We managed to take one of the craigslist printouts with us, but it is even more NSFW that the description of DTF. (I know you looked it up, didn’t you?)
Room 3 turned out to be similarly provocative. The bed was covered with a sheet that had strategically placed spatters of gold glitter, and the middle of the bed was…well, here’s the photo:
On the walls were vintage religious artworks that had been converted (perverted?) into something that was somewhat more suggestive. It’s probably a good thing the expired Polaroid film wasn’t the sharpest stuff available.
Which leads us to Room 4. Where the performance art lurked, and the long line of folks waited patiently. I have to admit to line-busting, explaining there was only one photo left in my old SX-70 (and that I was writing this blog). So we managed to get in the front of a group of 15 or so folks who dutifully marched into the room. A camera and lighting equipment were located as props at the far side of the room, and a figure could be seen lying prone underneath the cheap 70’s bedspread.
Once we were all inside, the figure started to writhe and moan in a truly suggestive manner. We could tell he was male, and he certainly knew his moves! Ironically, Tami noted that everyone in the room was watching in a lascivious manner (except for us; she was watching the others looking on, and I was waiting for the right opportunity to take my last Polaroid shot). With my vintage camera, I felt like a private eye waiting for the photo that would start the divorce proceedings!
The writhing and moaning continued for a few more moments, and then the man pushed back the coverlet to reveal this…
Apparently, his fetish consists of whipped cream and strawberries. Such a messy choice! Oh, and I see a lighter next to the pillow. I can only imagine that he was going to finish his brief self-encounter with a cigarette.
By this time, the event was starting to wind down, but I did manage to get a couple more relatively good photos (considering the equipment I was using) before we departed.
Needless to say, the next time there’s a pop-up show at the Fox Motel, we’ll be there!