Ofri Cnaani: Card Reading as Performance Art
Artist Ofri Cnaani turned a New York Chelsea gallery into a card reading emporium and used her readings to generate unique works of art for her clients. According to a review in the December 2015 issue of Art News, Cnaani used her own custom-made, over-sized cards.
The client picked a card at random, handed Ms. Cnaani a personal item, then selected two more items from a stash of odds and ends hanging on the wall. Cnaani then created a collage using the card and the selected items, plus fabric scraps and beads. A surveillance camera photographed the collage and projected it onto a screen in the shop window.
A similar performance piece was staged at a gallery in Rome in October 2014. Cnaani combined her own objects with objects given her by customers on the bed of a photocopy machine. The video on her website shows Cnaani and the customer laying their hands on the backing sheet in a ritualistic manner as the photocopy was being made. Cnaani immediately signed the photocopy and gave it to the customer, while projecting its image on the wall.
These projects remind me of poets at farmer’s markets and street fairs taking donations to type out spontaneous poetry on manual typewriters. Those of you with mercurial minds and a creative flair, how about ending a reading with an instant poem, a quick sketch, a splash of watercolor, or a collage from items grabbed out of a bin. Encapsulate the quality of the moment in a vivid visual reminder.
See images and read more at OfriCnaani.com. On the Home page, go to Wrong Tools for the card reading piece, and Command + Duplicate for the photocopy project.