The Rolling Exhibition

Tired of gawkers, Kevin Connolly traveled by skateboard, capturing their sheer human curiosity.Excerpt from an article in the Christian Science Monitor entitled “A legless artist documents the world in 32,000 stares“:

A 3-foot-1-inch tall man with no legs propelling himself along by his hands on a skateboard tends to warrant a fair share of attention.

People stare.

Sometimes they ask questions. Sometimes they make up stories on their own.

Montana State University film student Kevin Connolly relates a story: In a Bozeman grocery store, a young girl the same height as him asked, “Why are you on a skateboard?” Mr. Connolly replied, “Because I have no legs.”

“She just stared at me and had the best question I’ve ever gotten,” he says. “‘Is it a trick?’”

Connolly assures that it is no trick. He was born without legs.

His online exhibition is interesting in itself, but a great way into a discussion with Young People about appearance & perception, disability, or even the concept of ‘story’:

1 year ago I was asked by a little boy in Christchurch, New Zealand if I had been eaten by a shark.
2 months ago I was asked by an elderly woman in Sighisoara, Romania if I had lost my legs in a car accident.
6 weeks ago I was asked by a bar patron in Helena, Montana if I still wore my dog tags from Iraq.

Everyone tries to create a story in their heads to explain the things that baffle them.

I love his counter-cultural approach to getting around too:

Connolly rarely uses his wheelchair, preferring his skateboard. And a pair of jeans-clad prosthetic legs stand in his apartment as a party novelty, unused since age 12.

“People are wanting effectively to put you in stilts,” he says. “Why?”

Connolly feels he’s just as able-bodied as anyone.”

 

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