Megan Wilson
Writings > Charles Long and Mark Mothersbaugh

Charles Long and Mark Mothersbaugh
Saks Fifth Avenue window display
Through January 1, 2001

The displays of department store windows have long been denied the esteem of high art throughout the years. Neither the art world, nor mainstream culture, has quickly embraced the notion that fashion and art can co-exist as more than mere influences on each other. However, the perceived lines that separate and define fashion and art continue to blur. For the past year, the New York based Saks Fifth Avenue Project Art program has featured window displays that combine contemporary art

and designer merchandise. Artists have included William Wegman, Barbara Krueger, Faith Ringold, and Kenny Scharf. Currently on display at San Francisco's Saks windows is "Holiday Situations," a collaborative effort between sculptor, Charles Long and musician, Mark Mothersbaugh. Their installations suggest dreamy divertissements, infused with childlike wonder and playfulness that overpowers their mysterious brooding quality). Long stages large, bulbous sculptures of shimmering white plaster in various environments amongst mannequins whose apparel seems like an afterthought to the overall effect. His gaunt, expressionless figures markedly contrast the sensual, amorphous creatures in this weird, wintery wonderland. Mothersbaugh adds to the experience with an electronic, upbeat mantra that includes laughing, purring, and bells-a-ringing. Long is best known for his interactive sculpture “Bubble Gum Station,” a collaboration with the British pop group StereoLab. It was one of the standout pieces featured in the 1997 Whitney Biennial. Mothersbaugh, formerly of the band Devo, has composed the musical scores for Rushmore, Dawson's Creek and Pee Wee's Playhouse. Viewing this collaborative display is especially dazzling at night.

Saks Fifth Avenue
Post and Powell Streets, S.F.
(415) 986-4300. (Megan Wilson)