Marianne Vitale’s “The Missing Book of Spurs,” her commission for Performa 13, features half-naked women in corsets, a man in assless chaps, and “natives” in outfits inspired by traditional Native American clothing; it features blocks of wood, a wooden sculpture that looks like a torpedo, and a large, old-fashioned wooden bar; it features loud music, a smoke machine, and erotic dancing. It is a big spectacle. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it’s anything else.
I didn’t know what to expect from Einat Amir’s “Our Best Intentions,” a work premiering in New York as part of Performa 13. I had seen the trailer, which suggests a fairly emotional experience. I had read the description on the Performa site, which says the participatory piece blends “psychotherapy, theater and art.” I braced myself for honesty. I was a little nervous.
Jérôme Bel’s new piece, Disabled Theater, now at New York Live Arts as part of Performa 13, has gotten a fair amount of positive press and reviews, but it felt complicated to me, and not always in good ways.
Experiencing “The Humans” does require some stamina, as it’s a three-hour long play that often dips into follies that can drag a bit long. Yet if you’re interested in theater, the influences of art’s obsession with forms, Shakespeare, Wodehouse, and scatological humor wrapped around a frame of the Greek satire of Aristophanes is an intriguing experiment.
It’s difficult to create art about white privilege. Though one can easily enough declare that white privilege is bad, distilling all its paradoxes into a poignant artistic image is challenging. And when an artist succeeds, it commands attention.
LOS ANGELES — A train station is an apt location to tell stories of journeys to lands unknown, particularly when the storytelling method is as unconventional and frontier-pushing as the one deployed in Invisible Cities.
Even for those well-versed in contemporary dance, Maria Hassabi’s work can sometimes test the very applicability of the term. Sure, postmodernism has expanded dance’s vocabulary to include all sorts of things well outside the limitations of formal technique, from pedestrian movement to text and so on, but at some level, most people still expect to see performers actually move around on stage at a dance piece.
There’s a moment in your first life-drawing class where your perception shifts and you start looking at the naked body in front of you differently. At least that was my experience. Instead of feeling uncomfortable with the nudity or paying attention to judgments and assumptions about the person in front of me, I started to look at the lines and curves of their body, the connections between joints, colors, and textures.
Sitting in the audience for the performance of Ann Hirsch’s “Playground” at the New Museum last week, two things came to mind: one, that Hirsch had managed to trick a bunch of art school kids and fans of her often web-based art into coming to a very conventional theater production; and two, that the plot of her play felt a little conservative, despite Hirsch’s larger body of work that seeks to question representations of female minds, bodies, and sexualities on the internet.
The quick burn of celebrity has rarely been as spectacular as in the rise and fall of Anna Nicole Smith. “She blazed like a comet, as in a shiny thing in the skies, that hangs around a bit, then suddenly dies, ” as the chorus of newscasters intones in the Anna Nicole opera that just ended its raunchy run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Staging a rock-driven video spectacle criticizing wealth and politics might seem like a confrontational thing to do on Park Avenue in Manhattan, where money clusters like stars orbiting a black hole.
Last Wednesday, the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church was filled with an unlikely congregation of strangers: from art insiders to the media-savvy lucky enough to snag a ticket to Yves Klein’s Monotone-Silence Symphony.