I went with a posse to Photo Center Northwest recently, and after drifting through the exhibit, I headed upstairs to the second floor. At the top of the stairs, I came upon a crowd of the butts of my friends. The group was all crouched down on the floor, leaning into a strange little nook between the edge of the stairs and the wall of the landing. It's a funny in-between spot, the nook, like an architectural accident. About a foot wide and maybe two feet deep, it contained this:
I understood the crouching immediately. To really see this mini-museum, you have to get right down on the floor. If you do that, you'll start to notice that the exhibit has wall text, each image a name and price. It is a perfect mini museum. You can only shove your giant human head so far inside, but the way it forces you to behave immodestly is brilliant. Here we all were with dusty knees, huddled and craning, captivated. The rug/lamp/table/chair is a really nice touch, and suddenly I found my perception of the whole place Alice in Wonderland–ed. I wanted to sit in the chair. I couldn't stop thinking about what the rest of the space would look like if you could fit in that chair—the vast walls, impassable stair-cliffs, dangerous feet everywhere. It felt like taking a drug.
I've reached out to PCNW for more info on the space, and I'll update as soon as I hear back. For now, I just recommend you make sure to see the mini-museum next time you're down there. Do not avoid getting down on the floor. Do not miss the opportunity to let it shrink and enlarge you.
UPDATE! I heard back from PCNW, and what they told me is after the jump. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO JUMP...
Here is a thing I forgot, which PCNW curator Ann Palleson has reminded me: "The mini gallery features a body of work that is said to be made by Tony Danza." It is actually made by a photographer "who prefers to remain anonymous." She continues: "The photographer imagined that Tony Danza was a photographer wanna-be, a struggling artist so to speak. The labels under the photos are also meant to be too small to read. The exhibition includes forbidding imagery of mannequins and masks and odd dolls and toys. The images are bw contact prints from negatives shot with a Holga camera. The frames, podium and vase were also custom made by the artist." Here is a picture of the signature book and vase of flowers:
PHOTO CENTER NORTHWEST
"The chair and rug were added by mysterious fans of the show," says Palleson. "However, the signature book has gone 'missing.' Perhaps swept up by the janitor." The bio of Danza from the almost-illegibly-small wall text is as follows:
As a youngster, Anthony Iadanza never dreamed of an acting career. The New Yorker from Brooklyn instead envisioned himself the next Rocky Graziano. Changing his name to "Dangerous" Tony Danza, he entered the New York Golden Gloves in 1975. Shortly afterward, on Aug. 13, 1976, he started his professional boxing career. Fighting as a middleweight, Danza became a crowd favorite for his walk-in slugging style. He compiled a record of 9-3 with nine knockout victories, seven in the first round. It was during a gym workout that he was discovered for the part of "Tony Banta" on the TV show, "Taxi" (1978). Danza still had hopes of being a world champion and scored knockouts in 1978 and 1979 but, unable to secure a title shot, retired from boxing to dedicate himself totally to his acting career.
Most importantly, my tiny tiny friends: "Photo Center NW is accepting mini proposals for the space. The running wall space is 96 inches."