Friday night, the line to get in to the Portland Art Museum stretched down the block. For the second year, the art museum turned itself over to the students of Portland State's social practice art program for Shine a Light, an evening of "reimagining what could happen in a museum." The dancing, beer, and nude wrestling advertised were obviously drawing new people (and lots of them) to the art museum.
As soon as I got in the door, a woman flanked by ornate floral arrangements asked if I wanted to marry a piece of art. Ariana Jacob was busy all night performing partnership commitment ceremonies between museumgoers and their favorite works of art, making them promise to devote themselves to the art for at least a year and come back to visit it four times. In the chilly courtyard, Eric Steen served up beer local brewers created in response to specific works of art (Hopworks' earthy "Potlach" keg ran out first). But the event everyone was talking about was Jason Zimmerman's "Two Boys, Wrestling." In a packed basement ballroom, two muscly boys did, indeed, wrestle each other in the nude, encircled by the shrieking, heaving crowd.