Sunday, September 16, 2007
the motel project: bridge motel
Tonight I went to the so-called "wake" of the iconic-but-not-in-a-good-way Bridge Motel near the Aurora Bridge. A seedy motel, ripe with tales of murder, needles in mattresses, prostitutes, and drug deals among other niceties, to some people stands for "hip Seattle culture." To protest the hotel's upcoming demolition so it can be replaced with condos (boo), the motel became a canvas for a one-night installation by several local artists.
It was crowded, but it was...awesome. It's one of those "you had to be there" events, but I will do my best to describe it using some pictures I snapped (all other photos I took are now posted on my flickr).
The motel was packed, and I'm not sure the last time I had to rub against so many random people. The line formed on the stairs to see the upstairs rooms, and though only a few people at a time were permitted, people were hanging out so there was just no movement. I'm not really complaining, though, because it was good--no I mean good--people watching.
The guy you see crouched on the roof with the umbrella, well he was nude and creeping around and peering over the edge to make scary faces. Random.
By looking at the picture above, I doubt you could guess it was in the motel's parking lot. I'm not sure how it was arranged or who got to have dinner here, but I read snippets online about it that it was supposed to be a "one pot" and "weird" dinner. It looked and smelled good, though.
Also in the parking lot--the lounge. Personally I wouldn't dream about even sitting on the edge of any of the motels' mattresses, but by the time we left I saw several people laying across them and I spied a little bit of cuddling--eew.
One of my top two favorite rooms, the campfire room. They had cut out the roof (I wonder if umbrella guy was leaning over--he had to be cold!) and installed some logs around the fire pit. Some guys dressed as urban cowboys (or maybe it was their regular clothes) were simply hanging out and didn't seem to pay attention to the hordes of people ogling them and snapping pictures.
Room #7. My favorite--the salt room. I thought it was sand until I spied the emptied bags of food grade table salt. We had to take our shoes off, and once in you got to pad around and filter through the miscellaneous letters, pictures, and notes buried in the salt.
This guy was hilarious. I was stuck in a people jam outside one room's window but was fortunately entertained by this guy dancing on the bed. I'm not sure if he was part of the room's art installation or just having a good time.
The project was so much fun to walk through, it's too bad it was for one night only. I did find out however, that it is the first of 3 events in the motel project. Overall, though I'm weary of another new-condo-building-with-street-level-retail-! going up, I can't say that its demise is symbolic of Seattle's art culture being stifled. The night's event was testament that it is just as strong as ever.