If you go to the Manhattan Bridge Archway in New York City tomorrow, you can witness artist "Dread Scott" repeatedly trying to walk into the blast of a high-pressure water hose
. He calls this performance "On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide." As you watch it, you're supposed to be reminded of crowd control tactics of the past and think about the ongoing struggle for equality. At least, that's the official takeaway.
Let me know how far you get into this performance.
Her home page.
Maybe you'd like to catch her newest exhibition
In the theater, Ms. Samama, with a whistle in her mouth, removes her clothing and lies on the floor next to the room’s white brick wall. Stretching her legs up the wall and folding them into her belly, she travels in a continuous spiral along its perimeter. It’s painstaking work, and her labored breathing is audible through the whistle.
Not sure these recorded performances capture whatever unique brilliance these performers were reputed to exhibit.
In the December 21, 1935 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette an entertainment columnist wrote: “The English language does not contain a word which perfectly describes the performance of Ruth Draper, who comes to the Nixon next Thursday for the first time in several years to give a different program at each of her four performances here. “Speaking Portraits” and “Character Sketches” are the two terms most frequently applied to Miss Draper's work; and yet it is something more than that. “Diseuse” is the French word, but that is more readily applicable to an artist like Yvette Guilbert or Raquel Meller. Monologist is wholly inadequate. The word “Diseuse” really means “an artist in talking” so that may be the real term to use in connection with Miss Draper.” Actresses who have been called noted diseuses over the years include Yvette Guilbert, Ruth Draper, Joyce Grenfell, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Lucienne Boyer, Raquel Meller, Odette Dulac, Beatrice Herford, Kitty Cheatham, Marie Dubas, Claire Waldoff, Lina Cavalieri, Françoise Rosay, Molly Picon, Corinna Mura, Lotte Lenya.
Source of quote.
I just know every WU-vie will want the new book about seminal, brilliant artist Bruce Nauman.
To investigate the conditions in the New York State prison system for women circa 1916, socialist reformer Madeleine Zabriskie Doty
arranges to have herself incarcerated, masquerading as a real criminal, under the name "Maggie Martin."
Read her experiences here, in SOCIETY'S MISFITS.
Caution: some brief flashes of bare bosoms--a tactic which seems to constitute the entirety of the performer's artistic armory--in video and at the link..
More info here.
Whatever gets you off, I guess.....
Yes, it appears this "dance" is performed with clown nose and ripped panties around the ankles. But why not get the explanation of her "art" direct from the horse's mouth?
Perhaps you recall a recent report (I seem to recall Chuck covered the incident) about a performance artist in Paris who attached a rooster to his genitals for a public parade. That was Stephen Cohen, and here's more about him.
Caution: some mild, non-sexualized nudity.
Chinese artist He Yunchang believes in suffering for his art. His performance pieces have included:
- Having one of his ribs removed so that he could wear it as a necklace.
- Having a doctor cut a one meter gash down the side of his body, without anesthesia.
- Encasing himself in a cube of quick-setting concrete for 24 hours.
- Trying to "cut a river in half" by suspending himself above it from a crane while holding a knife in the water, as blood dripped from cuts in his arms.
- Painting the fingernails and toenails of 10 mannequins with his own blood.
- Staring at 10,000 watt bulbs to damage his eyesight
- Burning his clothes while wearing them.
Art critic Judith Neilson explains:
“He Yunchang is an alchemist of pain... He Yunchang evidently believes that pain and extreme discomfort, deliberately planned and willingly undergone, have a transcendent quality — and that it is this quality that raises mere action to the level of art. [His performances] serve as silent rebukes to contemporary Chinese society, where people undergo all kinds of suffering for money precisely because they see money as the ultimate protection against suffering."
[via The Rakyat Post