Stuff I Dislike: Performance Art

Seriously, what the hell? Photo credit: Shenzen News.

Before I begin, this is not a post against the performing arts: that is most definitely something I enjoy, be it music, theater, spoken word, &c. This is also not necessarily a post against flashmobs, which on occasion cut into this and are kind of cool (like this one…

…but I digress).

But this whole “living sculpture” thing has got to stop. Why can’t people just photograph whatever they’re trying to perform? And further, what are people trying to say from this – what is the effect? (I mean, in the above picture, it’s just a reproduction of the Little Mermaid statue in Denmark, except with Pink Body Suit Guy. I don’t get any feeling from that.) I’ll be honest: I just don’t get it.

A large part of the time (like many of the works in “The Artist is Present,” re-enactments (re-stagings?) of Marina Abramovic’s works), these artists are nude. Now, I certainly get the whole “nudity as the purest form of the human body” thing – I don’t mind it – but can we keep it on the canvas or in the clay? To me, in my untrained view, it’s just an excuse for these performers to get naked (although it doesn’t do anything for them).

To conclude, performance art has become, well, a lot like much like the rest of art of the past decade or two: avant-garde for the sake of being avant-garde. And as a fan of more classical work, that don’t fly with me.


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