It use to be that those proverbial 15 minutes of fame chased after by the many and obtained by the few, went hand in hand with a director shouting: lights, camera, action!

Today though, one need not depend on a studio to be crowned with fame; we can all be our own directors, streaming our very own multimedia reality program thanks to the far reaching world of social media. In the age of Twitter and Youtube, capturing the attentions of millions isn’t something for your bucket list, it’s for your daily to-do list.

This year’s Power Ball, an annual event hosted by Toronto’s Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, contemplated fast fleeting fame in our modern era, and paid a cheeky ode to the often crude pursuit of the spotlight (think Bling Ring, the ring kids not Emma Watson) by way of entertaining art installations.

Asked which “celebrity” they remember as having the most unforgettable 15 minutes of fame before completely disappearing, co-chairs, Anthony Novac and Isa Spalding, both go immediately to film.

“That has to be Mark Hamill, right? After Star Wars I think his next biggest gig was a cameo on The Muppets. Was there a more recognizable star from 1977-1983?” declares Novac. “In fairness [though], with three Star Wars movies, you might say he got 45 minutes.”

Alternatively, Spalding suggests Mercedes Ruehl. “Never heard of her?” she asks. “She rose to fame in 1991 when she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in The Fisher King. And after that? I’m not too sure, but I think she was on an episode of Law & Order.”

The unpredictable nature of the beast known as fame decorated the rooms at Power Ball. Between the open stage where interdisciplinary artist Zeesy Powers toyed with partygoers expectation, as she invited them on stage only to share with them her unfiltered first impression of them before the crowded room (the artistic shock value was in the guests reaction to Powers, captured on camera and projected for all to witness) and the “installed” party girls (artists KTL & Sybil) dressed up in tiaras and throwing cake decorated like a Visa card, the social commentary was as lively as DJs Physical Therapy and Deko-ze dance beats.

As for the evening’s most convincing pursuit of fame via notoriety, the award goes to the reveller who stepped out of her party dress (and panties!), just before the soirée end.

A toast to 15 minutes of fame!

Published  June 12, 2013