We’re all familiar with shrugging off that naked performer in the corner. Or at least those of us remotely involved with the art world are. Let’s just say we’re not easily shocked. After all, we’ve normalized Hermann Nitsch slathering himself with blood, Marina Abramović silently staring into strangers’ eyes for hundreds of hours, and Carolee Schneemann dancing in raw fish and meat, to name only a few.
A video taken at CalArts and posted on Twitter yesterday beautifully distills art-world indifference. “Hey whys [sic] art school gotta be like this,” @diptychbitch prompts us. The video shows students eating and talking at tables at what looks like a regular afternoon gathering on a patio. But then the camera pans to a naked woman, face-down on the ground and covered with red paint, casually installed in the corner and to whom no one seems to pay much notice. “Thru tireless research I discovered that its [sic] a protest against the film school. Wild,” @diptychbitch tweeted.
A slew of commenters have come up with their own interpretations for the performance:
And some are more cynical than others ….