Way back in 2007, An opportunity came to me that changed my life. Since 1999, I had been making ANTARCTICA Dream-Dollars, and they were becoming popular around the world. I had been approached by a curator in 2004 because he wanted to include my Dream-Dollars in a new exhibition he was creating called They Could Have Invited Everybody. The exhibition was about the phenomenon of micronations: small “nations” that were either physically real, a political entity, or a fictional creation, with as few as one citizen. For my Dream-Dollars project, I created a fictional nation called Nadiria, which existed in Antarctica in the late 19th century. So Nadiria joined the 104 other micronations to create this show.
They Could Have Invited Everybody started in Sunderland, UK, traveled to the Andrew Kreps Gallery in NYC, and finally traveled to The Palais de Tokyo Contemporary Art Museum in Paris in 2007. When I found out that I was in a show in a world-class museum in Paris, I HAD to go to the opening!
Above is the assortment of Dream-Dollars that the curator, Peter Coffin, selected for the show, along with two of my Dream-Tokens. There were other examples of currency art in the show, but I had the largest selection.
Above is the obligatory “trophy shot” of me standing next to my Dream-Dollars. This was at the vernissage, which is a pre-opening event for artists and VIP’s.
This is a photo of the show during the vernissage, where a select group of VIP’s and friends of the museum get to see the show before they open the doors to the general public. The exhibit filled a large room in the museum, and was one of three large openings that occurred that night.
The exhibition was lots of fun, and it was quite diverse in the objects on display. Since there were real micronations, they brought flags, documents, currency, uniforms, books, and all sorts of artifacts. Here I am minting a coin of one the the participating nations. I’m just glad I didn’t miss with the sledgehammer, because there were lots of people watching!
When they opened the doors to the general public at 8:00, a huge crowd flooded in, and it stayed really crowded for the entire night. I was surrounded by Paris sophisticates! All in all, it was a fabulous experience, and it changed my life. Before this show, I had not bothered to get into galleries, being rather cynical of the art industry. But after this show, which traveled around the world, I decided to seriously approach galleries for exhibitions. Since then, I have been in over 80 exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the US and Europe.