On Friday night we held our first ever Culture Whore party, celebrating DEATH TO SUMMER Brooklyn artist Dakota Sica performed a new piece, “Puss och Kram” (hugs and kisses), and it must be seen to be believed. Says Sica:
I am interested in what is means to be a man and how an artist can push the stereotypes of manhood. The performance consisted of one life sized bowl, 5 boxes of Cheerios, 20 galloons of whole milk, and a handful of plastic spoons. Anything could happen and what ever happened would be out of my control. This loss of control empowered the participants to objectify my body for their own pleasure and pushed my emotional boundaries. I struggled to breathe as participants aimed double fisted gallons of milk into my mouth and force fed me cereal. The milk-bath created a sweet, sick happening which brought out the baccus primal instincts of the viewers. Women felt relieved by the role reversal and had the opportunity to objectify a man. After 20 galloons had been emptied into the bowl the particpants knelt down to eat from the very bowl they desecrated. Everyone took a piece of the performance away with them and digested it as the night went on.
Sica’s piece was captivating and strange, beautiful and disgusting. It forced the participants to engage and almost dehumanized them. The artist, who until that point had been just another party guest, was now an object to be used for their entertainment. They became a pack of animals and it was as terrifying as it was thrilling.
PHILLY FRINGE: 27 REVELS IN LIFE’S BRILLIANCE
New Paradise Laboratories’ world premiere play, 27, at the 2012 Live Arts Festival in Philadelphia invites you to stop watching plays and start cherishing your own living experience—inside and out of the theatre. Conceived and created by director Whit MacLaughlin and the company of performers, your favorite rock star musicians are trapped together in a room moments after their deaths. You’ll recognize the infamous members of the Forever 27 club: Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse. Here, we don’t quite find the personifications of who we thought knew, or even something very likable about their behavior. Instead we stand witness to an aftermath of young lives that surpassed their wildest dreams on earth, whether by talent or by personal idiosyncrasy, and simply would not return. Fortunately for them, there are no censors in this new life, and though the characters are still under the scrutiny of a living audience, at least there are no repercussions.
But what’s wrong with enjoying the foibles of the people who provide us so much pleasure? That’s the hottest question in the room, and one that the director has been exploring since NPL’s last effort, Extremely Public Displays of Privacy. One musician, famous for a shotgun suicide, pokes fun at his melodrama, realizing that maybe he took things a little too seriously when he said, “I’d rather be dead than cool.” Death may cast a profitable shadow in retrospect, but here the tragedy of exploited youth is examined in a lengthy, muscular abstraction. Why does that singer sing of something black? She cringes so much at the microphone that I have to remind myself to stop holding my own breath. It’s only a play.
To the actors’ credit, the idea of these “dead” characters is deeply at odds with the life imbued in them by the performers. It’s a show of will and the desire for perfection, with adoration for the living form laden with mistakes, sexuality and ambition, brought to revolting immediacy by the entrance of a modern day twenty-seven year old. This unnamed character, played by Emilie Krause, has perhaps entered the realm of 27 at a moment too early in her life, and there may not be an escape. Krause’s character treads territory not fit for her composure, and her dealing with the burden of an audience looking to her for answers induces the weightiest drama in 27.
A real life musician scores the event live, producing a rich sound environment that tests nostalgia and tolerance. Be prepared for something highly weird, and know that the Lizard King and the Queen of Rock and Roll are actually in the building. Then go upstairs to Quig’s for a couple cold ones.
Tonight is our end of summer party in Bushwick and we are so fucking stoked. Our rooftop rager/exhibition will have jungle juice, performance art, bangin tunes and plenty of beautiful artsluts dancing the night away. If you’re in New York and you want to come, like us on facebook and get the details! DEATH To SUMMER!!!!!