Why is it so electrifying to meet a famous personality? Especially a personality that has some sort of meaning for you personally. I was thinking about this as I was walking back to my office after having participated in the TKY show at Aperture. TKY is the recreation of Daido Moriyama’s performance piece of the 70’s where he stood at a photocopier making photocopies of his photographs and then assembling them into books. The new Aperture show has a twist – audience participation. Participants get to select and sequence 20 of 56 pairs of (photocopied) photographs that will be assembled into a book that you take away with you. Pretty cool!
As you walk in you are given a card with a number. I was number 74. One half of the card has your number and a short explanation while the other half has a grid where you write down the numbers of your selections and the sequence. This is handed in to an assistant at a table.
The assembling takes 20 minutes so you get to mill around and chat with people for a bit and even say hello to the artist who is walking about or sitting at a table signing the books. The photocopies are being made during the performance.
Moriyama-san signs the books.
After 20 minutes or so my number is called, 74 and I get my book.
Before I left I went up to Moriyama-san and thanked him first in English and then I braved a “domo arrigato” with a slight bow. The “domo arrigato” was returned with another short statement in Japanese which I could not understand. Beyond “domo arrigato” all I can understand is “ohayo gozaimas” which is greeting and “chisai kohee” which is a small coffee. Oh, and “macha” which is green tea. I am sure all he probably said was, “Thanks for coming” or something similar in Japanese. Oh well!
Getting back to my original thought, I think meeting a famous, meaningful (to you) personality validates your reality somehow. All this time he is just a character in your head, as is much of reality and then you get to see and shake his hand in person and suddenly you feel like yeah, I am in the real world. Funny.