You Don’t Bring Me Flowers: An Evening of Re-Performances
PØST, 1904 East 7th Place, Downtown Los Angeles
Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 7–9:30pm
Review by Megan Hoetger
7-9:30pm: Elana Mann adapts George Brecht's "Drip Music" for the bathrooms at PØST
7-9:30pm: Nancy Popp re-performs Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s "The Loneliness of the Immigrant" in the PØST elevator
7:30pm: CamLab re-performs John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Bagism"
8:00pm: Lucas Michael performs "No, u didn't"
8:30pm: Nathan Bockelman re-performs Rasa Todosijevic's "Drinking Water"
9:00pm: The Bride of Rock and The Rockness Monster take the stage
THE BRIDE OF ROCK AND THE ROCKNESS MONSTER
ELANA MANN [http://elanamann.com/]
LUCAS MICHAEL [http://www.projectlucasmichael.com/]
NANCY POPP [http://www.nancypopp.com/]
CURATED BY CAROL CHEH [http://anotherrighteoustransfer.wordpress.com/]
Recent high-profile efforts at re-performance have been aimed primarily at preserving the legacy of performance art within the canon of contemporary visual art. While this is noble, it has also resulted in institutionalized re-performances that can seem stiff, sterile, and closed down. For her retrospective exhibition at MoMA this past spring, Marina Abramović rigorously trained a team of performers to have what she believed to be the proper mindset. She and MoMA then selected a group of her performances that were largely static, and thus lent themselves safely to museum display. As Carrie Lambert-Beatty noted in her insightful Artforum review, “Abramović recasts the performance as a score but shuts down the iterability that is the score’s most significant implication.”
With You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, I am proposing an evening of re-performances that open up and activate the relationship between performer and performed. I have asked each of the participating artists to choose a work of performance that has unique significance to them and to their practice—that perhaps, even builds on their practice in some way—and to re-perform the work any way they like. Instead of paying solemn tribute to predecessors or colleagues, this will be an experimental and exploratory evening that places as much emphasis on the artists who are present, as on the artists who are not. Perhaps the results will be closer to inspired cover versions of popular songs, as when a world-weary Kurt Cobain crooned David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” or the dark blues rocker PJ Harvey belted out Willie Dixon’s throwaway party song “Wang Dang Doodle.” Such an engaged and reciprocal process has the potential to change both performer and performed.