Official Tasting Notes: Last night, while making the First Thursday rounds in Pioneer Square, someone told my friends and me that there was free cans of Busch beer at PUNCH. So we ambled in to score some check out the opening of "Homestead," an installation by Justin Colt Beckman. Beckman transported a small shack from central Washington to the gallery and furnished it with the spare signs of a Thoreau-ian existence: a hide rug, a small table with a few books, trucker caps and small pictures hanging on the walls. People were lining up to peek through the window and front door at the scene, and at a video of the artist and his dog projected on the back wall.
The gallery statement argues that by opening up a house to public view, the installation questions our desire to scope out the banal details of others' everyday lives. But to me, the piece was a cute reversal of the urban hipster's preoccupation with symbols (trucker caps, antlers, Western shirts) of rural life: Instead of building a fantasy cabin in our heads where we could hypothetically lead a simpler (more virtuous, more artistically pure, etc.) existence, Beckman brought an actual cabin to the city, then projected images of himself on its walls.
Anyway, it ain't bucolic if you're it doesn't involve cheap beer and individually wrapped Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies. I can't stand Little Debbie, so I stuck to the double-decker white-bread sandwiches with American cheese and ham. The bread had gotten a little stale, but chef Becker had spread the mayonnaise on thick. Mayonnaise makes everything taste good, even white bread and American cheese.
Insider Tip: Watch out for the toothpick! Oh, and the installation will be up until September 30. No word on whether they're going to replenish the snacks and beer, so bring your own.