Thursday, February 21, 2008

What's Behind Door Number 2

19 x 27 cm
Found photographs, black permanent ink, found paper

Let's Make a Deal

Let's Make a Deal is a television game show which originated in the States in 1963 and ran consistently until 1976. The show was based around deals offered to members of the audience by the host. In the simplest format, a contestant was given a prize, and the host offered them the opportunity to trade it in for another prize; however, the offered prize was concealed. It might be concealed on the stage behind one of three curtains, or behind "boxes" onstage (large panels painted to look like boxes), within smaller boxes brought out to the audience, or occasionally in other formats.

The initial prize given to the contestant might also be concealed, such as in a box, wallet or purse; or the player might be initially given a box or curtain. The format varied widely.
Prizes generally were either a legitimate prize, cash, or a "zonk". Legitimate prizes often included furniture and appliances, or vehicles. Zonks were unwanted prizes which could be anything from animals to large amounts of food, or something outlandish like a giant article of clothing or piece of furniture.


I used to watch Let's Make a Deal a lot when I was a kid. I always loved the excitement that built up with what might be behind the curtain. In this current work Johanna is the lovely "Vanna White" who will open up door number 2. The key to the game show was that no one knew what the prize was going to be - and it is the same here.

1 comment:

hannah said...

This is a really great one, April! funny, I was just reading a book about historical math problems recently and came across the story of the advice columnist, "Ask Marilyn" (she held the Guinness world record for highest IQ till sometime in the late 1980's). Apparently she solved the mystery behind the "lets make a deal" doors in a column in Parade magazine in 1990, and really pissed off a bunch of math Professors all over the world. I will probably never be able to understand statistics, but i get such a kick out of this story:

The angry math teacher letters are such a hoot.

Hope things are good in Berlin!
take care,