Life may imitate art, but some angry Grindr users in Berlin are taking legal action to have it stopped.
For the next two weeks, Dutch gay artist Dries Verhoeven is sitting in a glass-walled box and having his live, unedited Grindr conversations stream live, calling it art.
Gay Star News reports the exhibit, titled "Wanna Play?," will feature Verhoeven recruiting a steady flow of men into his glass box for non-sexual activities. They'll play chess, share a meal, or shave each others beards, the artist explained.
But Parker Tilghman is too furious to shave his new friend's beard, he said. When he first traded photos with the artist online, he was just interested in chatting. But when the artist invited him to come over and 'shave his beard' (best unintended euphemism ever), the man demurred.
"Given the odd nature of our conversation I comically asked, 'Are you going to murder me?' to which he responded, 'No, but I'm afraid you might be the one to murder me,'" he said.
But when Tilghman trotted down to the corner of Marienenstrasse to meet his Grindr buddy, he was horrified to discover their chat projected for anyone to see.
"Someone involved in the project confronted me and I shouted at him louder than I have ever shouted in my life," said Tilghman. "The entire block stopped, at one point they started clapping. I screamed, 'How dare you? You are violating people's lives, you are publicly mocking people and projecting the pictures and words onto a screen that an entire city block in one of the busiest parts of Kreuzberg for everyone to see. What you are doing is unethical... At no point did you have my consent or notify me that you would be doing anything of the sort. You cannot exploit people like this for your bullshit hipster Berlin art world crap.'"
Verhoeven apparently sent him a message later that night, saying he was 'so sorry.' Tilghman, unsurprisingly, did not accept his apology.
Dazed Digital reports Verhoeven busted into the box, flipped a table and even punched the artist before he left.
A spokesperson from the performance center Hebbel am Ufer confirmed that they had received complaints regarding "Wanna Play?" but declined to state how many. The representative noted that the centre had not received any complaints in the first three days before Tilghman's Facebook post went viral, but are now waiting on Dries to issue a statement regarding the piece. They also confirmed that Tilghman has threatened HAU with legal action for violation of privacy.
"The project is led by Dries and we need something by Dries first to find an artistic response," the HAU spokesperson said. "We're trying to contact Dries at the moment. He doesn't want to be in contact with the outside world apart from Grindr."
From our media partner EDGE