The 2River View 22.1 (Fall 2017)

Frank Montesonti

Arts Grant Proposal: Pound

In this piece, the participant is put in a white room full of cages. Hidden in the room, a speaker plays the sound of dogs barking—a cacophony of types of dogs: deep and loud, some howling, some yipping, all in unison and intense, as if some small mammal had wandered through the dog enclosure. The place will smell of ammonia, urine, and bleach—the smell of the corralled and unwanted. The participant will then be given a handful of candy corn he or she can only eat after pressing it tightly in his or her hand for twenty minutes, until it is half melted.

Arts Grant Proposal: Remote Control

In this piece, a television is placed on a pedestal. On a separate pedestal is a remote control for the television. When the participant clicks any button on the remote control he or she receives a slight electric shock. The artist who created the piece, a slightly balding man in his forties named Thom, will then walk in from the other room and apologize for creating such a silly and predictable piece of art. Feeling bad for the artist, the participant will take him out to dinner at a good Italian restaurant in downtown Los Angeles where the participant will be distracted by the mushroom risotto and Sangiovese as the artist will confide that he never had much faith in his art anyway and that he thinks he might go back to school for engineering. The participant won’t hear from the artist again, but if the piece succeeds in its desired effect, the participant will at strange times think about that artist, of the oddity of the fact he or she knew him, that at some point they were almost friends.

Frank Montesonti is the author of Blight, Blight, Blight, Ray of Hope, winner of the 2011 Barrow Street Prize, and Hope Tree (How To Prune Fruit Trees) from Black Lawrence Press. He lives in Los Angeles and is the lead faculty of the MFA program at National University. website

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