Their only solution was to make their revolution their own way, without help and without precedent.
LONDON — It is with the pairing of two 20th-century giants in one room, Jackson Pollock and David Hockney, that the relationship between performance and painting is introduced in A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance, an exhibition currently on view at the Tate Modern.
On December 19th of last year, Patti Smith and Michael Stipe gave a “walk-in performance” in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art to celebrate the centennial of Jean Genet — poet, playwright, novelist, radical leftist, hustler and thief.
It was also the final day of the uprising in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, which started three days earlier when Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor, set himself on fire and burned to death to protest the confiscation of his merchandize by the police. The timing of the performance and the Tunisia riots were, of course, purely a coincidence.
On December 19th of this year, alone with her guitar, Patti Smith returned to the same place — now occupied by an enormous obelisk holding aloft Sanja Iveković’s golden, hugely pregnant “Lady Rosa of Luxembourg” — to mark Genet’s 101st birthday.
The specter of communism currently haunts the New Museum in its summer “bloc-buster” exhibition “Ostalgia.” It’s an ambitious project that consumes most of the galleries with a swirling conglomeration of disparate mediums, artists, scales and concepts that reflect the miasmic atmosphere of post-Soviet territories.