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Artist Turns Tales of Dating Disasters Into Puppet Shows

By Andrea Swalec | October 5, 2012 12:01pm

MANHATTAN — Bad date? Horrendous breakup? Blissful makeup?

One Brooklyn artist wants to hear about your love life — and turn it into a videotaped puppet show.

Painter, photographer and videographer Rory Golden will rove 14th Street starting Friday, asking passersby for their love stories and showing short videos he's made from tales of romantic woe.

Golden's project, "No Reenactments Without Prior Permission," is part of the eighth-annual Art in Odd Places Festival, which will blanket 14th Street from river to river Oct. 5-15 with strange art like sculptures made from sugar, a life-size spaceman dangling from a tree, and a fake palm reader who will guide pedestrians to works by other artists.

Golden explained in an artist's statement that he wants to use his mini-melodramas to inject humor into people's memories of their romantic histories.

"The project is intended to transform people's relationship to love — erasing the past, laughing over foibles, forgiving," Golden said.

He will walk along 14th Street initially looking like any other pedestrian. He'll appear to be talking on his iPhone, but on closer examination will actually be reciting love-song lyrics, he said in the statement.

"I will be looking at passersby with an attempt to bridge the gap among strangers, engaging the public as I walk and talk — seemingly on the phone — out loud, about love," he said.

Golden and a few collaborators will then get pedestrians to share their own stories, which he will turn into minute-long, high-drama soap operas featuring hand-painted sets and vintage dolls. The videos will then be shared via social media and email.

Curator Raquel de Anda said Golden's public art was a natural fit for Art in Odd Places.

"Golden investigates the boundaries of public versus private while glorifying the awkward — and all too familiar — in his dynamic and quirky multimedia project," she said in a statement. "His interactive, roaming installation at once expands the notions of public space while creating an engaging entry point for all audiences."

Golden will walk along 14th Street from river to river from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 5, 7, 9, 12 and 14. Anyone can tell Golden their own story by emailing makeamovieaboutme@gmail.com