Presented by 21c in conjunction with IdeaFestival, Corner Store, 2009 is a multimedia installation by the Austin-based artist collaborative Okay Mountain. For the duration of the IdeaFestival 2011, guests are invited to enter the faux convenience store and purchase products made or altered by the artists. All of the elements of Corner Store’s retail environment were created by the Okay Mountain group, including wall murals, posters, video surveillance camera, lighting, musical and ambient soundtrack. Multi-media sculptural elements define the space and include the counter, coolers and products for sale. All of the items and their prices are listed in a products flyer available to each visitor. The contents of the store can be purchased from the artists, who will work as store clerks, behind the checkout counter.
Featuring a vast assortment of hilariously odd treats including Wolf Meat, Kool Zesty Ranch Zest and Craps Candy, the installation brings to mind Claes Oldenburg’s The Store, an abandoned store rented by the artist in Lower Manhattan in New York in 1961. Like Oldenburg, Okay Mountain seeks to challenge the conventions of art by defying categorization as painting or sculpture. Their meticulously executed and immersive installation questions the slippery line between art and commodity and the role of the artist in self-promotion.