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She's not there...
September 1, 2010 12:08 AM   Subscribe

Artist Georgia Sagri says she wasn't there and maybe performer Ann Liv Young wasn't either. [both links nsfw]

It's hard to say, but some are trying. Includes famous art haunt PS1, a dash of Marina Abramowicz as possible scapegoat, and curationalists Brooklyn Is Burning.
P.S. DON"T COME BACK.

OH, NEVER MIND.
posted by artof.mulata (70 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
In art school, we watched a video of a performance piece by a friend of the instructor, where the artists "lays a yam"--that is to say, after jumping around in the nude for a bit, the artist jumps up on a table, squats a little, and shoots a yam out of her vagina, much like a sex performer in Bangkok, except the Canada Council was paying for it instead of the individuals watching.

I see performance art hasn't improved much since those days.
posted by fatbird at 12:27 AM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


From the first link: Young’s performance ended with her carrying around pan of her own urine. She tripped and fell, spilling some of it. The rest she poured over herself and the performance was over.

If it was the likes of Christina Aguilera doing it (or perhaps Justin Bieber), this kind of thing would be truly worth caring about; just because it would be so weird and public and impossible to ignore. But a couple or handful of obscure performance artists caught up in a confusion of willful provocation -- it's cliche, isn't it? Like something you'd expect in a SNL skit making fun of performance art ... but maybe funnier.
posted by philip-random at 12:28 AM on September 1, 2010


I see performance art hasn't improved much since those days.

Eh. 90% of everything is crap.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:31 AM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rule 33: if it exists, there is performance art of it.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:33 AM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Storm in a teacup1.

[1] teacup = urine-pan
posted by placeholder at 12:37 AM on September 1, 2010


Rule 35: Sufficiently controversial performance art is indistinguishable from Rule 34.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:39 AM on September 1, 2010


It's not art until someone's got their kit off.
posted by Abiezer at 12:41 AM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rule 36: if the subject is depicted as performance art, the probability of anyone desiring the applicability of Rule 34 is zero.
posted by zippy at 12:47 AM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Young’s performance ended with her carrying around pan of her own urine. She tripped and fell, spilling some of it. The rest she poured over herself and the performance was over.

Classist.

When a mentally I'll homeless man does it, he has to deal with cops and people cringing; when a self-described "over-educated artist" does it, she gets standing ovations.

Society is fucked up.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:26 AM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


whoa too bright
posted by parmanparman at 1:33 AM on September 1, 2010


when a self-described "over-educated artist" does it, she gets standing ovations.

Well, to be truthful, they were already standing for fear of sitting in something icky.

Ist das Kunst, oder kann das weg?
posted by chillmost at 1:52 AM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sherry is Ms. Young’s outré persona, a trashy Southern blonde who never met a confrontation she didn’t like.

Why do I feel like MTV is way ahead of all these "artists"?
posted by creasy boy at 2:13 AM on September 1, 2010


All art is cool as long as no one in the audience gets hurt.
posted by pracowity at 2:20 AM on September 1, 2010


(Or spattered with urine.)
posted by pracowity at 2:20 AM on September 1, 2010


(Unwillingly.)
posted by pracowity at 2:20 AM on September 1, 2010


Once again, Fat Mike proves himself ahead of the curve.
posted by Jimbob at 2:29 AM on September 1, 2010


"Thing #3. PS 1 has a fairly recent history of urine performance art."

I was incredulous when in 1981 a friend told me his uncle gave performances where he was clad in a diaper and climbed a ladder, removed his diaper and peed. Urine performance art has been going for so long now it's practically mainstream.
posted by vapidave at 2:42 AM on September 1, 2010


Was Marcel Duchamp's true motive to protect future art patrons from such performances?
posted by Jode at 2:49 AM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Urine performance art has been going for so long now it's practically mainstream.

I see what you did there.
posted by Sutekh at 3:06 AM on September 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Are these the piss artists I've heard so much about?
posted by jonesor at 3:18 AM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


"urine performance art"

This is a thing?
posted by jbickers at 3:24 AM on September 1, 2010


What a shitty performance.
posted by nomadicink at 3:51 AM on September 1, 2010


When a mentally I'll homeless man does it, he has to deal with cops and people cringing; when a self-described "over-educated artist" does it, she gets standing ovations.

....When the performer at the burlesque show I used to go to did it, she got tips. Mainly because she also drove out the guys who thought they were going to a pole-dancer kind of place, and the rest of us were grateful for that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:16 AM on September 1, 2010


the way the post is framed almost invites the LOLartists that has been almost universally the response. I think there could be a good discussion about performance art had this been framed better, but as it is, it looks completely like it was framed to get the response it has.

Oh--an NSFW disclaimer on the FPP would have really helped me, thankyousomuch.
posted by beelzbubba at 4:38 AM on September 1, 2010


“She plays the game well,” said David Velasco, the editor of Artforum.com who was in the audience in February and has written about Ms. Young for the September issue of Artforum. “She’s particularly adept at pressuring the protocols of art-making institutions. It’s a form of institutional critique, but it’s not one the art world is accustomed to, which might be why it’s particularly effective.”

"Particularly adept at pressuring the protocols of art-making institutions"? Yeah, well, maybe. Here's the video of the February "protocol pressuring" at Young's Facebook page, with enough captions to get a vague understanding of what went on. Not sure the level of institutional critique on display deserves much attention from Artforum, but de gustibus.
posted by mediareport at 4:48 AM on September 1, 2010


I wasn't there either.
posted by 3.2.3 at 4:56 AM on September 1, 2010


You don't think it's the kind of art under discussion that invites the LOLartists response?
posted by creasy boy at 4:56 AM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


beelzbubba - Agreed about the NSFW, fortunately my place is pretty liberal so I'm not bothered personally. Not sure I agree with the other bit, I'm more inclined to side with creasy boy there! By instinct, I'm pretty sure this type of performance would scream Nathan Barley at me, however the blog was framed. I'm quite open to having it framed differently, or taking in more sophisticated, less LOL-based responses, but with all due respect, you're not making one either.
posted by Slyfen at 5:07 AM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought it sounded kinda interesting. that art can also be critique
posted by mary8nne at 5:27 AM on September 1, 2010


Most of the performance artists I know are beyond the whole shock of body fluid "movement" if there is such a thing. Teh first link shows the artist naked on the floor and talks about her peeing and masturbating. I believe there is a place for this kind of performance, and right now, before my first cup of cofee kicks in, I wold be inclined to agree that that place is in places where you pay $10 for a peep show where the performer will do whatever you ask.

So--as far as any discussion of performance art--this post has invited condemnation of all art as " unrelentingly stupid in a way lesser pursuits can't approach." I don't have to think very much about other art forms that also have practitioners who are equally as--well, to be charitable--offensive as the artists under review here.

And I really have nothing against piss-art. I think that Warhol's piss-on-copper and Serrano's Piss Christ can stand on their own.

So, my problem is not with critique of these artist here--but to extrapolate and immediately begin to condemn all art and by extension artists as being beneath contempt is not a discussion, it's a Helmsian diatribe meant to divide and not meant to open discussion.
posted by beelzbubba at 5:35 AM on September 1, 2010


Rule 35: Sufficiently controversial performance art is indistinguishable from Rule 34.

No.

Rule 35: There's art of it.
posted by eriko at 5:54 AM on September 1, 2010


Is this a good place to mention Interior Semiotics?
posted by Paid In Full at 6:17 AM on September 1, 2010


This does for art what Ann Coulter does for reasoned dialogue. I've made my living in the arts my whole life. Art, as someone pointed out, is completely useless in a pragmatic sense. This, then, is art. But I can say with absolute conviction that this is art I don't appreciate whatsoever.

This is a miserable excuse for attention grabbing by someone who sells their used tampons and their own shit covered with glitter on line. That's not art, that's lowbrow fetish commerce. At least artists who sell out usually have art to sell. Not just their own glitter-covered poo. That strikes me as all this 'artist' has to offer, really: Glitter-covered poo. IMHO, of course.
posted by umberto at 6:19 AM on September 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


For anyone who's wondering, here's an explanation of Rule 34.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:36 AM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm amazed that "urine art" isn't considered a health hazard. Seriously, why didn't PS1 just say "we pulled the plug and called off the show due to concerns for our patrons' health"? I know urine is sterile, but spilling bodily fluids like this just has lawsuit written all over it in pink magic marker.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:38 AM on September 1, 2010


Seriously, why didn't PS1 just say "we pulled the plug and called off the show due to concerns for our patrons' health"?

That is, in fact, exactly what they said.
posted by The Bellman at 6:57 AM on September 1, 2010


Ann Liv Young urinated into a tray, Georgia left and then returned with middle fingers ablazing, both taunted each other, and then Ann Liv Young began masturbating on the floor, flopping and grinding her pelvis toward Georgia, her bare flesh flapping against Christian Marclay’s matrix of vinyl records.

2 girls (sort of), 1 cup (sort of).
posted by The Bellman at 6:58 AM on September 1, 2010


to extrapolate and immediately begin to condemn all art and by extension artists as being beneath contempt is not a discussion

Yes. However, planet's quote did not use the word "all". Linguistically, I suppose "Art is..." equates to "[All] art is..." but for whatever reason, I didn't take it that way. I took it more like "Art can be..." or "Art encompasses...". Perhaps I am too generous, almost certainly I shouldn't try to speak for planet either way, but I kind of took it as read that they don't actually consider all art & and artists as beneath contempt, even if that is a reasonable, even logical, interpretation of what they literally said.

Also, in a strange way the statement reads like a backhanded compliment to me (quite aside from the implications of the "lesser" comparative). Why should art be more stupid than any other pursuit? Why should, say, spraying yourself with piss in the name of art be seen as more stupid than wetting yourself after a heavy night of drinking, or any number of Darwin-award style activities? My best/only answer to that would be to bring in the issue of intent into consideration. The drunkard bedwetter just does, they don't assign meaning. Any fool can have an accident, but for real brilliance - or stupidity - to be properly ascribed to an individual, it requires deliberate, forethought, contextualisation and action? In this way, even if the verdict is derogatory, the logic taken to reach it seems inherently to acknowledge the intent and craft behind artists' work.

I also find it interesting that you, like the rest of us, do not even muster any outrage at the piss artists under discussion - the incidence of nudity, urine and/or masturbation, in themselves, no longer being remotely shocking in a performance art context. On the other hand, you are evidently provoked by planet's comment. If the (a) goal of art is to be provocative, does that make planet's post a better piece of art than Young's performance?
posted by Slyfen at 7:01 AM on September 1, 2010


My thought is (perhaps unfairly) that is just feels sort of lazy; instead of thinking "Wow, I am shocked and uncomfortable" I think "Inspiration didn't strike, huh?". It seems like a generic way to be shocking and I think (though I could be wrong) that very few people who hear about it will actually be anything except sort of blase about the whole thing. There are plenty of people who WOULD be made uncomfortable by it, but I don't think they're likely to come into contact with this type of performance much anyway.

If I'm wrong about this, I am really happy to hear about it (not snark, genuine curiosity about a community I know nothing about) but it does seem to me like this is sort of like the Cliff Notes version of being edgy and daring and outside the mainstream.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:01 AM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I know urine is sterile

Not really. Urine is technically sterile while it's in the bladder, but as it passes through the urethra it picks up various bacteria. And of course if one has a bladder infection or other UTI then it's all the less sterile.
posted by jedicus at 7:02 AM on September 1, 2010


You don't think it's the kind of art under discussion that invites the LOLartists response?

If the kind of art under discussion is performance art, then absolutely not. Performance art is very often fascinating and deep. Ann Liv Young maybe is not so deep. To use Ann Liv Young as a proxy for all of performance art (or all of art, period, as the first commenter did, obnoxiously) is absurd and ignorant.
posted by avianism at 7:14 AM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not being much into performance art my only frame of reference for this kind of was the 90s noise rock scene where it became almost necessary for the crowd to trade insults and occasionally blows with the bands. I remember the first couple times I saw the Cows for expample being really excited by how totally out of control the whole thing felt, the unpredictability was a charge though not being the person the guitar player decided to sock in the face out of nowhere I guess helped. It probably sucked for that guy, though who knows, maybe he dug it. As the 90s wore on a lot of bands in Philly were increasingly influenced by GG Allin and the whole scene got so tired and lame. It was like, can I please go to one show where somebody doesn't get smashed in the face with a bottle and bleeds out all over the floor? That kind of extreme for the sake of extreme stuff gets really old, really fast, especially if that's all there is to it. Once you've seen that, you've seen it, and after the initial shock of seeing it is gone it starts to feel really contrived upon repeat viewing.
posted by The Straightener at 7:14 AM on September 1, 2010


[I added a NSFW tag. Carry on.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:18 AM on September 1, 2010


urine art can be beautiful. consider Piss Christ.
posted by philip-random at 7:19 AM on September 1, 2010


Well, my last comment doesn't make any sense now that planet comment was deleted, does it? For reference, it was something close to "Art is relentlessly stupid in a way that lesser pursuits cannot match". Whilst I concede this is, on first glance, far from the most constructive remark, I would have hoped my post offered one example of how it could be read in a not-entirely-worthless-snark way, and considering four people favourited it, I can't have been alone there. Strikes me as kind of funny to delete a comment but leave all the subsequent discussion relying on it alone, making little sense as a result?
posted by Slyfen at 7:29 AM on September 1, 2010


Strikes me as kind of funny to delete a comment but leave all the subsequent discussion relying on it alone, making little sense as a result?

We feel that it's more important to delete early thread shitting than make a thread read entirely consistently in some cases.
posted by jessamyn at 7:36 AM on September 1, 2010


Here's a new path for discussion, then.

This work thrives on abuse. It's willfully, belligerently stupid, in large part because it wants to be talked about as willfully, belligerently stupid. Our conversation, here, now, is in a way constitutive; it's in some sense a part of the work. We're meant to, as art world outsiders, laugh and sneer and so on, to play a specific role in a play the full scope of which we cannot see because of our outsider status.

This is why I think the Ann Liv Young piece sucks. It's performance on the stage of art world politics; at the end of the day it functions as a gossip among insiders, as a dramatic social narrative which unfolds in a particular place (the art world in New York), and as a cheap way for the artist to rack up some fame. It doesn't suck because it's stupid, it sucks because in order to have any effect, it depends on keeping art world insiders in, and everybody else out. And that's bad for us, and it's bad for art.
posted by avianism at 7:45 AM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


We feel that it's more important to delete early thread shitting than make a thread read entirely consistently in some cases.

You philistine, Jessamyn. It wasn't threadshitting, but performance threadshitting.

Now, if you'll all excuse me I'm going to pull a pair of corduroy dungarees out of my anus while walking on a tightrope made from woven strands of my own pubic hair and singing "Waltzing Matilda" in the style of a prepubescent Adolf Hitler.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:53 AM on September 1, 2010


Shit Sandwich, with a side of Piss Pie.
posted by dbiedny at 8:01 AM on September 1, 2010


You can spend all the time trying to figure out pi, but here's a song from Sifl & Olly to bring everything back into perspective.
posted by not_on_display at 8:02 AM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to assume that the whole thing was a collaborative performance. What's the difference, even if those involved didn't intend it? I might even be better if they didn't.
posted by cmoj at 8:17 AM on September 1, 2010


I went to the same college as Ann Liv Young. Imagining how this performance would've been received on campus gives me the giggles.
posted by epj at 8:42 AM on September 1, 2010


Slyfen, although planet's remark was removed, your contributions have helped bring this to a level of discussion about performance art that makes this a thread and not the LOLartists that it started out as.

Fwiw, I'm not an artist but I am linked in multiple constellations with performance artists. Upon reflection, I too came to the point that you did that planet's opener might not have been as universal a condemnation as I took it to be, and if so, I apologize to planet--my rough morning doesn't make it anyone else's responsibility.

As I was driving, I thought along the lines that you did. Art as a reflection or projection need not be any more or less stupid than life, and the artists at PS1 can be seen as proviking people to examine where the lines are drawn or should be drawn.

For reference: I was in a park in Germany. I was a guest, so I don't remember exactly where we were. But I caught a whiff of what I recognized as excretia of the human variety, yet no outhouse was in sight. Turned the corner, and there was a guy, about 35, not obviously homeless, with dropped trou, enjoying nature. I am also relatively sure that this was not an in situ performance. And it wasn't the only instance I came across in this "nature park." So, where is the line drawn between going to the bathroom in public and artists replicating this act in a gallery? Not something I'd care to see in either case, but perhaps some people can't make it to the great outdoors and want to have the voyeuristic experience of watching someone urinate or defecate. No more or less stupid than the several people IRL who were on display in the park.

But I took planet's comment--perhaps unwarrantedly--to be an indictment of performance art, and I thought of tons of other artforms with practitioners who are every bit as cringeworthy as Sagri and Liv Young. As someone who helps performance artists locally try to get more recognition, I reacted negatively to the construction of a post that seemed to me to be made to reinforce the base public reaction to almost any art form, which, they have been misled to think, is funded by public funds to the detriment of all of the other pursuits forgone by spending that money on art. See: Karen Finley, Holly Hughes, et. al. Performance art often gets a bad name simply through the enhanced visibility that Sagri and Liv Young achieve, largely through being located in an area that is both an arts "holy land" and an arts "dumping ground. Literally.
posted by beelzbubba at 8:48 AM on September 1, 2010


The bit I enjoyed about the Brooklyn is Burning story was how the assembled crowd and curators watch someone pull their clothes out of their underwear, and then see Ann Liv Young do her whole peeing/masturbating thing.

But the taboo breaking: criticising her fellow artist. In the performance. She knocked down the fourth wall.

Now it doesn't make me regard Ann Liv Young as that much more of an artist. I just don't think it's especially innovative to subvert Snow White by having her stick a dildo upherself, and breaking the taboo of public masturbation or peeing - hey, many of us have ridden the subway, thanks.

But it does make me chuckle that the audience have their broadminded view of art but actually expose themselves to be just as susceptible to petty mores as people who tut when Geoffrey fails to use the fish knife for his plaice. I suppose Young deserves some credit for that, but it's a rather empty victory for her art.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:02 AM on September 1, 2010


Performance art often gets a bad name simply through the enhanced visibility that Sagri and Liv Young achieve,

It's not the enhanced visibility giving performance art a bad name, it's Sagri and Liv Young give performance art a bad name by indulging in cheap theatrics.

Art that pushes boundaries is the cheapest sort of art. It's standing on the other side of the fence screaming "here I am", and cloaking it with art buzzwords like "challenge" and "pressuring protocols".
posted by fatbird at 9:03 AM on September 1, 2010


ahh, it makes me feel old, but i can say this (in a 'simpsons did it first' kinda way):
karen finley did it first. with yams. and a tie.
posted by mrballistic at 9:07 AM on September 1, 2010


There are comedians who tell intricate stories and have polished acts. Then there are the comics who go, "Anyone from Buffalo? Yeah? Well fuck you!" Gets a reaction. That's this.

Excepting (even though they're different animals) the recent spate of flash mobbery and Improv Everywhere stuff -the number of people involved kinda of diluting the self-aggrandizement factor - I have yet to see a performance art piece that didn't seem like self-indulgent masturbation. Literally, in this case. The Sifl & Olle song was dead on. It is almost impossible to jokingly make up random terrible fake performance art crap that is actually worse or more ridiculous than real performance art.

Performance art may be a legitimate means of expression but it has been co-opted, at least in the public arena that I generally see, by self-infatuated people that seem indistinguishable from every other scam artist to me. My eyes now roll instantly when I hear of it. This article did nothing to change that impression.
posted by umberto at 9:49 AM on September 1, 2010


Art that pushes boundaries is the cheapest sort of art.

Art that pushes boundaries [for the sake of sheer provocation] is the cheapest sort of art.
posted by philip-random at 10:04 AM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Brings John Campbell's A Brief History of Art to mind.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:07 AM on September 1, 2010


umberto; this is because "performance art" has become pop culture slang for "art is stupid." This makes it much easier to write about stupid performance art than the interesting stuff; first because people like to have their biases confirmed, and second because writing about any performance art at all brings out the "it's stupid" crowd, and why fight them when you can use them in a ploy for more cheap controversy/publicity?

There is plenty of performance art that bears almost no resemblance to the ridiculous NYC art world crap featured in this FPP. If all you know of the form is Improv Everywhere and Ann Liv Young, I'd encourage you to broaden your search.
posted by avianism at 10:14 AM on September 1, 2010


I semi-seriously believe that virtually all of the interesting performance art of the last 10 years has occurred on the Internet in the form of trolling.

You want to talk about being challenging and provocative? There are 15 year olds on video game forums who are at this very second provoking reactions that Sagri and Young could only dream of.
posted by Copronymus at 10:17 AM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Art that pushes boundaries is the cheapest sort of art.

fatbird I'm not sure I can agree with that fully. I think I know what you mean, but I think of performance art that pushes boundaries not through transgressive confrontation, but through unexpected consequences. (following is probably tl;dr for most)

Here, I'm thinking of a collaborative piece where the audience was invited to participate with the artists, some of whom were "professional" artists, some were students, and some were community members who had participated in workshops centered on difference, disability, homelessness, addiction, and mental illness. Most of those community members were from a center for independent living, a place where people with various reasons to need a "halfway" place before reentering "full" society. Finally, some were people who showed up to see "art" on a Friday night in a college town. You know who you are. Part of the premise, though, was nobody knew who was audience and who was "performer" except that a couple of higher profile artists were named/displayed on the handbills & posters announcing the show.

Everyone sat in a circle surrounding a large empty space. Images were projected on screens around the outside of the circle, and music/soundscapes played during certain prepared performances and during a commons time at the end when all participants and audience were encouraged to come out into the middle of the area and encounter one another before leaving the performance.

Among the perfomers were Neil Marcus, who I now know personally, and other nationally recognized performance artists who performed their work on areas that pushed boundaries for many in the audience--a transgender poet, a man from the CIL who read a poem about what it was like to watch a friend with AIDS die in hospice--boundary pushing when considering that the man who looked like anyone's grandfather had been a trustee in Jackson prison, serving a 30 year sentence for 2nd degree murder, whose tender poem about someone he had gotten to know in prison brought almost everyone there to tears. He then danced a tender waltz with a college student, marking the end of the formal performances and the start of an encouragement for everyone to dance however they were able with someone, anyone else from the circle.

Maybe not everyone's cuppa, and not something that I need to see again having been there, and done that. I also got to know Neil Marcus around that same time, helping prepare meals and just hanging out. Prior to that, i would have told you that performance art was hogwash and played out 30 years ago. But I saw people's boundaries pushed in ways that made them consider 1) who gets to name what "art" is, 2) who gets to participate and or control art production, and 3) who gets to be a performer of art. Not everything that was created there that night was Art by any stretch, but I know some folks who came there that night don't automatically assume that that man or woman in a wheelchair is excluded from being a dancer, poet or playwright.
posted by beelzbubba at 10:25 AM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Julia Oldham, an artist whose videos were included on the program, witnessed the incident and blogged about it the next day. She said in an interview, “It wasn’t clear to me what was going on, but when those two artists started really getting into it, something was happening that was powerful.”

I finally just realized what bothered me about this quote. She's talking about the performers like they're wizards. Two people yelling at each other, and she sees something mysterious and powerful. If it happened on the street, you'd just keep walking.
posted by creasy boy at 10:35 AM on September 1, 2010


I do performance art, and I adore performance art.

I also think that one of the single greatest events in cinematic history was Divine eating dog shit at the end of Pink Flamingos.

I believe that scatological art can be great! I know not everyone is ever going to agree with me on this point, but what the hell, I think some of it's really bitching, personally. Art is a language which communicates through all kinds of formats, and sometimes someone just decides that urine is particularly communicative of the ideas they're trying to engage people with. Sometimes they're right.

That said, it's possible to be a massive twat in pretty much any language. If Young shouted abuse at people in the street, then I would think she was a twat. If she worked in an office and went out of her way to put her colleagues down, then I'd think she was a twat. If she behaved like this, targeting someone purely to offend and upset them in any other situation, then I would think she was a twat, and lo: I believe the woman to fall deep into the category of being a twat.

Being an artist does not make you special. It does not make you exempt from the responsibility of your actions. It does not make it acceptable to treat other people badly.

That is all.
posted by emperor.seamus at 11:06 AM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


umberto; this is because "performance art" has become pop culture slang for "art is stupid."

Well, if you insist. I don't think most performance art (and, regardless of your being sad for my lack of arty worldliness, I have seen plenty: I'm old, live in a reasonably urban area and have arty friends, it's unavoidable) needs pop culture slang for it to be considered stupid.

Plus, I don't think it's stupid, necessarily: I think it's a scam and lazy. Not the same thing. 'Hmmmm, I could create something never seen or heard before, or I could masturbate and piss and screech at strangers.' Which you can wander down to St. E's and see. So, yeah. It would take a lot for me not to think of this kind of thing as a scam and complete waste of everyone's time. The scam being: there is any kind of value to this nonsense. But again, as someone already wisely pointed out, de gustibus non est disputandum.
posted by umberto at 11:26 AM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Party like it's 1959.

Also, if I had a nickle for every time I've seen performance art where something comes out of a vagina, I would have like $1.20.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:41 AM on September 1, 2010


Art that pushes boundaries is the cheapest sort of art.

fatbird I'm not sure I can agree with that fully.
philip-random said more clearly what I was trying to say, and should have said thusly: "Art that is about pushing boundaries is the cheapest sort of art." It's simple sensationalism, which is easy, and sacrifices everything beyond that for the sake of a reaction.

Art that incidentally pushes boundaries can be wonderful and usefully challenging. I have no problem with boundaries being pushed. I have a problem with artists plucking low hanging fruit. Being a shock jock is a copout.
posted by fatbird at 12:15 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


It seems like a generic way to be shocking and I think (though I could be wrong) that very few people who hear about it will actually be anything except sort of blase about the whole thing.

Yeah. In discussing this sort of art, we're beyond the argument about technical skill. We're beyond the argument about being visually stimulating and impressive. We're beyond the argument about meaning and pushing boundaries. We're deep into the territory of the "art" in question actually being completely boring, done a thousand times before, with no creative thought involved whatsoever.
posted by Jimbob at 8:04 PM on September 1, 2010


I was incredulous when in 1981 a friend told me his uncle gave performances where he was clad in a diaper and climbed a ladder, removed his diaper and peed. Urine performance art has been going for so long now it's practically mainstream.

vapidave, your friend is pishin' beer-artiste Tom Marioni's nephew? Cool!
posted by Scram at 12:41 AM on September 2, 2010


A review of Ann Liv Young's latest show which seems to be dumbfounded by her ineptitude.
posted by ob at 4:42 PM on September 6, 2010


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