Saturday, April 05, 2003

ACE Banned From Museum of Contemporary Art Gent

The amusement park and visual art worlds converged with a rare display of unification recently, with the display of an art exhibit called Roller Coaster, 2001, currently being shown at Belgium's Museum of Contemporary Art Ghent, inexplicably abbreviated as S.M.A.K. The exhibit, which consists of an actual sculpted, working small roller coaster set in an indoor art space at the museum, was crafted by Cai Guo-Qiang, 44, widely considered the most innovative and influential Chinese artist in the world at this time. However, the goodwill and exchange of ideas was brought to a halt this weekend, when the American Coaster Enthusiasts were permanently banned from S.M.A.K.

The difficulties began when a crowd of one hundred ACE members showed up at the museum last Saturday. After unsuccessfully demanding an ERT session of two hours on the installation, many ACErs began forming a line to ride the exhibit anyway.

"Since we weren't able to negotiate any ERT, picnics, or behind the scenes tours from the management, despite paying our entrance fee to this park like any old GP, we figured we should at least do some of our famous Western Pennsylvania ACE Region Informal Takeover Times," said regional rep David Harris. "The museum certainly seemed to have a major problem with our informal takeover of Roller Coaster. Informal takeovers don't cost parks any money, and bring them lots of good publicity. If S.M.A.K. can't make some sort of accommodation to coaster enthusiasts, we'll just never come to this sh*thole again. I mean, this is the only ride here! How can they justify the admission price when all they have are themed art exhibits, a shop, and one lame coaster? At least they should add some flat rides and a real adult coaster. Pathetic."

Said exhibit director Gunther Schadenfreude, pictured here in a cheeky moment involving paint and possibly too much time on his hands, "zees Coaster Enthusiasts vere riding ze installation, und making pig dog demands. Zis ve do not accept. Zey vill not disgrace our gesamtschei├čewerke like zis. They shall never return here vile I am in charge!"

Chuckling cruelly, Schadenfreude added, "ve gave them big time S.M.A.K. down on ze way out, ja?"

Opinions on the ride varied amongst ACE members. Billy McTavich, 40, said "I didn't get to ride it. It looked cool, though. There's a nice swerving drop and what looked like a hint of airtime. Maybe the Guggenheim will bring the installation to the United States. To be honest, after that pile of crap Armani exhibit they clogged the aisles with a couple years back, they owe me a coaster."

However, fellow member Jackie Tucker, 21, stated that Roller Coaster “totally sucked, and isn’t built with larger riders in mind. I don’t recommend a visit to this park.”