Have you ever wanted to play a game about waiting in line at a museum? No? Well maybe you should. Video game research professor and author of the upcoming book How To Play A Video Game, Pippin Barr has made what Slate describes as "a subversively boring game" called The Artist is Present. The game actually simulates the experience of waiting in line to see the work of contemporary artist Marina Abramović, who exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010. Her show was also titled "The Artist is Present," and apparently caused a media frenzy and a long, long line while she was there.
“I wanted to make a video game about art, [and] few works of contemporary art have that kind of famousness and stature that this [exhibit did],” Barr told Slate in a phone interview from Copenhagen this morning. “At first I just thought a game about this would be hilarious, but then I realized there could be some seriousness to it as well. No one has ever really made a video game about the experience of contemporary art.” He was unconcerned that the game might seem outdated, seeing as it came to life over a year after the show closed. “I don’t really think of it as that tied to the actual exhibit. It’s more about art in general.”
Barr’s game uses old-school 8-bit graphics to recreate many of the masterpieces at the museum such as Van Gogh's Starry Night. Oddly enough, the game's museum is closed at the same hours the real museum is closed – including holidays and Tuesdays..
The point of the game, says Barr, is to show how awesome the whole experience of an Abramović showing is.
"I didn’t do it to make a statement, or to be provocative or challenging at all. I really admire Abramović and I wanted to make the experience as authentic as possible.” Barr never saw the exhibit himself, though he wished he could have. “But I’m not sure I would have been willing to queue up at 5:30 in the morning.”
You can check out the game here.