Best Of 2003

Best Avant-Garde "Art" Exhibition: Pilot (Cleveland) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

New York artist Christine Hill spent six weeks transforming MOCA's white-box galleries into the production offices and set of a late-night TV talk show. The 34-year-old former masseuse/shoeshine girl/lead singer of a German punk band had decided to take Conan O'Brien's gig for a test drive. Almost 4,000 Clevelanders meandered through her fantasy-in-progress. The "exhibit" climaxed with the taping of a live Conan-style show, featuring Hill at the helm and locals serving as guests, band members, and stupid human tricksters. The post-show exhibition became the vacated set and offices, a tape of the show, and six weeks' worth of talk-show "ephemera," including cue cards, flow charts, audition notes, and props. Hill's an artist, all right. When was the last time you got paid to act out your occupational fancies?