I was on my midday stroll and came across this dude just off of 5th Avenue on 55th Street:
I love performance art. Even bad performance art. What they often get away with is classifying the aspects of a piece that don’t work as part of the performance and are de facto “intentionally” bad. It’s not honest, but it’s entertaining.
Kooky old Maria Abramovic is transforming a former tennis center in upstate New York into a permanent performance art space. Some of the pieces she plans may last several hours or several DAYS. According to the report I read, because of the length of some of these pieces, the space will feature:
…customized chairs complete with wheels. Those who fall asleep will be rolled into a special sleeping area – considered part of the performance – and rolled back when they awaken.
If your audience falls into such a deep slumber that they can actually be rolled away in a chair without being woken, it’s not part of the piece. Your piece is boring. Can you imagine if someone dies during the performance?! She might consider it the ultimate compliment.
Richard III coda: nursemyra was correct in that Spacey hammed it up quite a bit. But aside from a few lines that would have been better spoken than shouted, I thought his performance achieved a rare greatness. In the final scene, while the newly crowned king, Henry VII, was giving his exit speech, Richard, dead and bloody, hung by his ankles about 15 feet above the stage. You can’t be more dedicated to your performance than that! The theater critic for The New York Times called it a “gimmick” but I thought the whole thing was a lush spectacle and I’ll never forget it.
The play ran so late that there was no public transport back to New Jersey so I stayed in a hotel. I had forgotten what it’s like to sleep in Manhattan. At 12:47 a.m. (I know because I looked), a garbage truck threw its gears into reverse and I was startled awake by the loud beep-beep-beep-beep back-up signal. I was on the 26th floor but it sounded like they were right outside my window. At that exact moment, the toilet in my bathroom flushed itself! I’m not kidding! I was in a quasi-dream state and imagined one of the garbage truck drivers walking out of my bathroom fastening his pants. And then there was a loud cacophony of gears grinding, a dumpster being hoisted up off the ground, upended, and slammed back down onto the pavement. I had to get out of bed and jiggle the handle to get the damn toilet to stop flushing.
The city that never sleeps.