Museum Staffers Gone Wild: Duke Riley’s “Those About to Die Salute You”

Togas, baguette swords, watermelon cannonballs, sexy dancing, bared buns, and fiery explosions…

poster for

"Those About to Die Salute You" Exhibition

at Queens Museum of Art
in the Queens area
This event has ended - (2009-08-13)

In Main Article 3 Photo Reports by Jennifer Orbom 2009-08-21 print

Despite the dreary evening last week, exuberance prevailed at the site of Duke Riley‘s “Those About to Die Salute You,” where men, women, and children donned their togas and came to battle in one of the goriest food fights in Queens’ recent history. Inspired by Naumachia, in which Roman emperors forced prisoners to battle to the death in a flooded amphitheater, Riley flooded the World’s Fair fountains in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, packed the sidelines with rowdy masses, and blasted Michael Jackson. As the first tomatoes began to fly, boats constructed out of hay, T-shirts, and cardboard made their way to the battlefield manned by representatives from the Queens Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and El Museo del Barrio. Few were left untouched by the ensuing fight. As the ketchup bottles and watermelon cannons were just beginning to run out, the battle ended with a bang when the losing ship burst into flames and fireworks. Quite the spectacle and a much-needed party for recession-weary New Yorkers.

La pandilla peligrosa del Museo del Barrio. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

The Entertainment. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Pre-party. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Rocking out. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Free togas. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

The procession. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Revelers. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Boat construction site. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Entrance. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

The World's Fair Pool. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

High Art? Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

They salute you. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Entering Battlefield. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

The Masses at Pool. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Final Procession. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Ships in the night. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

The fiery finale. Photo by Jennifer Orbom.

Jennifer Orbom

Jennifer Orbom. After city hopping for the last few years, Jennifer is now settled in Brooklyn. She is involved in several art, film, and theater organizations, working as an event planner and producer. Readers are encouraged to email book recommendations to her at jennifer [at] nyartbeat.com. » See other writings

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