Friday, October 5

Artists' secret shopping mall pad

Eight artists built and furnished a secret apartment inside a US shopping mall - and stayed there for four years.

Artists created a secret apartment in an unused storage area of a US shopping mall and stayed there for four years /Ext

They used breeze blocks to build the apartment in a disused space connected to the car park of the mall in Providence, Rhode Island.

The artists ate, drank, slept, read, held meetings, watched TV and enjoyed PS2 games in their secret pad, reports the Providence Journal.

They furnished it with a sofa, a love seat, a coffee table, a breakfast table with four chairs, lamps, a throw rug and paintings.

But they lacked running water, a refrigerator and a toilet. The artists brought in jugs of drinking water and sneaked out to use mall toilets.

Their leader, performance artist Michael Townsend, 36, was arrested after security at the Providence Place mall finally caught up with them.

"The only regret I have is that I didn't get to continue," Townsend said. "I'm really sad about it."

The story spilled out in court, after he pleaded no contest to a criminal charge of trespassing.

Townsend said he wanted to "explore the phenomenon of the modern American enclosed mall, its social implications, and his own relationship with commerce and the world".

Mall spokesman Dante Bellini Jr pooh-poohed police detectives' and the artists' portrayal of the space as an apartment.

"It was an area with stuff in it," he said. "It was wrong on a number of levels... It was like a person breaking into your basement or your car at night and sleeping there. We certainly feel violated."

via Ananova

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