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Installation artist and architect Ira Tattelman is showing an Artomatic piece that is all about observation. Titled “Accessible Route to an Old Man’s Fortune,” it’s in the vein of The Truman Show as the man the installation is about has no idea he is being observed.

Tattelman says, “The man, I do not know his name, was born on April 27, 1930.  On his 79th birthday, he played the lottery and won – some money but not a lot.  He shot off fireworks (the container is included in the installation) to celebrate.

The piece is about trying to understand that person through image as well as material objects.  In the foreground is a night stand taken from this older man’s apartment.

He believes in Chinese Numerology.  Although there is a randomness and unpredictability to life, he tries to gain some control by believing in the power of numbers.

He plays cards every day, with a desire to excel and prosper, living with the combination of chance, luck, skill and fortune that guides his hand.

He hopes to lead a long life – unaware that someone is watching him.”

How do you feel about taking part in the 10th Anniversary of Artomatic? “I am very excited to take part in this 10th Anniversary show.  I have participated in every Artomatic (except for last year’s event.)  For each event, I have contributed an installation: ‘Unexpected Risings Rising Up’ in 2007 at Crystal City office building, ‘They Taught Me To Wash Away My Desires’ in 2004 at former Children’s Museum, ‘Toilet Room’ in 2002 at former EPA offices, ‘Sick Building Syndrome’ in 2000 at former Hechingers Store and ‘Stop & Go, In & Out, Light & Dark’ in 1999 at Manhattan Laundry.

As an installation artist, I try to I respond to the building’s history, focus on the construction of place and reveal spatial relationships.  My pieces attempt to connect the political, social, and cultural implications of space and its boundaries.  With constantly changing venues (I have been especially inspired by the abandoned, emptied buildings of the past), Artomatic is now hosted by new office buildings with wide open floors.  While less conducive to my kind of artwork (carving out unusual spaces or responding to found and sometimes hidden conditions at a site), I am challenged to work with the 8’ x 8’ plywood sheets that provide the context and backdrop to my piece.”

Why should an Artomatic visitor make the special trip to visit your space?
“Rather than offering individual artwork for sale, my piece tries to challenges perceptions of ordinary activities by encouraging people to take a closer look at the things around them.  My photographs are not the idealized image of a place; they contain narratives.  I encourage the viewer to discuss, critique and explain the composition that I offer.”

Where can we see your work next? “Recent work is displayed on line at http://www.artmuseumtoilet.org/ToiletArtMuseumRelease4.html

I am also working on a book project about communal gathering places in urban areas and plan to include the space of the internet.”

You can see Ira Tattelman’s work on the 7th floor at 05 – P – 5.