New York has a grand tradition of performance artists taking it to the streets – going way back to Alan Kaprow’s Happenings to Laurie Anderson’s sidewalk events decades ago. But would those artists have climbed into a flaming pink love mobile and revealed their most intimate desires to a woman dressed as Aphrodite?
Aphrodite, in to this case, is Australia’s Rebecca McIntosh, a conceptual artist and performer who has been appearing as the goddess of love since 2001. “I was working with a photographer, dressing up in different archetypal women, like Mother Mary, and Kali,” she told me. “When I became Aphrodite, people really related to it.”
So Rebecca tricked out a giant portable clam shell, and invited people to enter her bivalve boudoir to share their love stories. “Who are you in love with?” she would ask. There was something about the intimacy of her clam, which has since morphed into a pink love bus, which made people feel safe enough to talk about everything, even though they knew they were on video via Rebecca’s Love TV.
“I’m always surprised at what people will say,” said Rebecca, now morphing herself into the mythical character of Aphrodite. “Men are more romantic, while women are more direct about sex, which turns around expectations, but women are always more pragmatic about how it all works.”
Beginning July 26, and continuing through August 26, the Love TV bus will be visiting New York’s five boroughs, videoing interviews with artists, movers and shakers. You can nominate yourself or someone else for a Love TV interview here.
For Aphrodite’s New York expedition, she’s expanded the scope of love, and she’ll be exploring everything people are passionate about. If you hop on the bus, be prepared to reveal what you’re in love with. “The clam is open,” she proclaims.
Does Rebecca have a love of her own? “My husband,” she grinned. “He came into my booth at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and we fell in love instantly.”
Maybe Aphrodite’s real, after all.
Information about Love TV in NYC here.
Photo by Richard Nolan-Neylan, from the series Going Public.