Last week, Vanity Fair released its latest installment of "Derek Does Stuff with a Friend," one of the magazine's many YouTube series, for which celebrities are filmed doing stuff. In the latest episode, recording artist Katy Perry went to The Whitney Museum to stage an art prank—surprising unsuspecting guests by pretending to be part of a piece of art. If the faux-artwork, which was framed as a sculptural table setting by artist Kathryn Hudson (Perry's birth name), seems familiar, that's because it reminds us wholly of David Henry Nobody Jr.'s SPRING/BREAK Art Show performance, Self-Portrait as a Buffet Table. The idea was to promote Perry's new single with Migos, "Bon Appétit" and to recreate the single's album artwork: Perry's head sticking out of a center piece platter like a turkey on Thanksgiving.
So basically in the video, host Derek Blasberg lures museumgoers into a cordoned-off area of the Whitney where they believe they'll be participating in a one-off, site-specific installation. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a perfect way to rob someone at a museum, Blasberg describes the piece to onlookers as an exploration of "the feast of life" and "the two-faced capitalist system we are currently living in." Ahem. Ornaments and fake food are scattered about the center of the table, and Perry's pokes through on a silver platter. Watch the magic, above, as Katy Perry mildly spooks a small audience by pretending to be asleep, then blurting something out at the right moment.
Then, watch it when it was actually art: