Meet the Team! is a sort of zine/catalog/exhibition guide that accompanied Alex Prager’s Farewell, Work Holiday Parties at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 21, 2020 – January 3, 2021. It’s somewhat different than Prager’s photographic and film work, but it’s also undeniably Prager.
Before I get too deep into the review, just a head’s up for those of you who don’t follow my YouTube.
In late 2020, I finally succumbed to pressure and changed the format of my unboxing videos. Since about June, 2021 videos now feature a close-up, top-down flip through cut into the unboxing. In newer videos, starting fairly recently (at time of writing), I unbox as normal, then spin to the right… the flip through spins in and proceeds, then spins out and I spin back to my unboxing position, then stand and walk out of frame as normal.
After duplicating my unboxing of Meet the Team, I decided to update this unboxing by cutting in a flip-through. If this is something you’d like to see more of, if the flip-through helps, please let me know and I might do some more of these edits for special things.
With that out of the way, on to the review.
Farewell, Work Holiday Parties is a sculptural/environment thing depicting a holiday party at the fictional Tri-State Insurance Agency, and the zine introduces all the characters, with close-up “portraits” and little biographies of each character, and they’re some characters.
From DJ Steve, who paid the holiday party committee $350 to let him DJ the party—thereby funding the catering from “Loni’s” that serves as the only reason many of the employees even came—to Todd “the Weisenheimer” Weisner—attending the party, and dumping a goldfish into the water dispenser, as a sort of last act at Tri-State before he and his band go off on a state-wide tour—you know these people. Lexi, the receptionist, is drunk after half a drink and crying on adjuster Bonnie “Birdie” King, who “didn’t sign up for this shit.” Jeremy Kretchman, “the Kretchman,” “the Kretchinator,” the Executive Accounts Analysts is busy making photocopies of his butt. Claims Representative Colleen McGonagle is engaged to some guy, but in love with Field Representative and “hip, young guy” Roberto Álvarez, who “didn’t feel that Colleen and him had much in common,” and sees Tri-State as “just a place to show up every day, keep his head down and get the fuck out of by 5pm.” If you don’t know all of these people, you’ve never worked in a corporate office…
A former boss of mine is a DJ, though he never DJ’d an office party; one of my colleagues has the tolerance of an teetotaling ant and always ends up drunk at the holiday party; my darling, adorable wife and I met at work and we’re the last in a long line of couples to get together there. Another former boss and her best friend were way too cool for this shit, and mostly only showed up to get out by 5pm: their passions were dog breeding/training and, come to think of it, DJing…
And given that this came out smack in middle of the pandemic, when almost nobody had been around their coworkers in 8 or 9 months, Meet the Team! was timely and hilarious, and of the Covid projects I’m aware of, it’s the most fun.
Overall, I rate Meet the Team! an Exceeds Expectations bordering on Distinguished 4.5 stars.
Meet the Team is available direct from Prager’s online store, and if you ask nicely, she’ll happily sign it for you. I bought my copy direct from LACMA, and so missed out on that. Oh well. If you’re not interested in the zine, do yourself a favor and check out Prager’s page on the project, featuring images and a short film. Great, and timely stuff.