The light outside was harsh. It was in the 90s, but the air was still refreshing compared with the stuffy heat in the factory. The artist Matt Siegle was sitting beneath the shade of a tent in a lawn chair. He had on white sunglasses. He was giving away shirts he had made with the Live Aid logo on them. The logo was painted on T-shirts for different charities that he had turned inside out and used as a canvas. He had 200 of them stashed in a big, brown paper bag that he had painted to look like the bag for Pirate Booty.
“You want a shirt?” he asked.
“You want me to cut out the collar?”
“What about the sleeves?”
“No, I’ll keep the sleeves.”
Mr. Siegle was accepting donations in exchange for the artwork. So far he had received three Band-Aids and an unripe tomato. The Observer joined him in drinking a Miller Highlife. We listened to the Grateful Dead.
We were caught off guard by the appearance of an S.U.V. stretch limo across the lawn. It looked out of place not only in the context of the installation, but also in the entirety of Hudson. The press materials had warned of its presence with a noted lack of irony.
“On Saturday July 30th, Rancourt/Yatsuk (courtesy of Kate Werble) will present Dynasty VIP, an exclusive VIP lounge within a luxury SUV parked outside the entrance of Hudson Basilica. VIP Patrons can look forward to enjoying ice cold AC, a complimentary full service bar, supple leather seating, and special programming throughout the day. Security detail will be present to regulate access and ensure safety. Patrons are encouraged to register in advance as space is limited in the lounge.”
It was one of the event’s most subversive pieces: a genuine item one would expect to find at a typical art fair in a major city. The artist duo Rancourt/Yatsuk had a more sarcastic explanation.
“Rancourt/Yatsuk feel NADA Hudson, despite not being an art fair, could greatly benefit from the presence of a designated zone for the discerning VIP patron,” the artists wrote in a statement about the piece.
In front of the limo, several dealers wearing unimpressed frowns were smoking cigarettes.
Back by the front entrance, there was a small piece of loose-leaf paper taped to the wall with the words “EVIL FREAKS II” scrawled on it in thin, black letters with a ballpoint pen. There were several strange looking objects clustered in the corner.
“We invited people to make chairs,” said Andy Meerow, who organized the works with Rose Marcus. “We were thinking about how this is a social thing mixed up with a weird market thing. We wanted to lend a little bit of humor to the situation.”
There were chairs of all kinds, painted in rough patterns, crossing legs with other chairs in a humorously sexual suggestion. One chair was bulky and awkward—it was covered in foam—but still retained a vaguely functional shape.
“I think we both felt kind of weird about the dynamic of bringing all this art to this barn,” Mr. Meerow said. “Kind of like rural gentrification. But we’re doing it. So.”