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I don't like a thing about this kind of performance art, have no respect for it, so I'm glad I heard about it from someone who does only 3 days ago (and won't mention it to her), and just now read the above to find out it's closing. Some of Stelarc's performances have interested me, being hung by razor-thin blades through the epidermis of his back over some cross streets of Alphabet City for a few hours nude sounded sort of thrilling for him, maybe some sort of Winged Victory. But he remained intact. The kind I dislike Ms. Abramovic has been involved in too, participants punishing themselves by hurling themselves against walls, Chris Burden lying in shelves for 3 weeks, a man in 1977 inviting guests to a SoHo gallery to watch him cut off his penis and die; another man in the mid-80s doing something like that, but just getting beaten by 80 or so equally pretentious people. Oh yes, I nearly forgot, Marina stabbed herself. maybe that's where Hanneke got the idea for the Piano Teacher. I can't believe these psychotics acting out in public and making a career of it.

Mentioned in this was that she was going to do something with Robert Wilson that was the closest thing she'd done yet to 'scripted theater', and that seems to be the only kind of performance artist I respect (and not all of those), but Karen Finley is one of the most thrilling creatures on the whole planet, and I bet her 'George and Martha' (Martha Stewart and George Bush at a hot-sheet motel) that I saw in 2004 was better then any of this morbid business. Tim Miller is good too, but Karen is the best I've ever seen. She was so hilarious I thought I'd have to go to the hospital from laughing so hard--she did this alphabetical 'rose's turn' show-stopper nude, listing all of the things she 'owned' as Martha Stewart, at high-decibel level: 'I GOT BREAKFAST...AND I GOT BRUNCH' and "I GOT CHAIRS...AND I GOT CURTAINS!' I love this woman, she's out of her mind, but in a happy way.

Anyway, sorry if I've offended anyone who takes this artist seriously, or maybe even sat across from her. Opera indeed. It was no such thing, whatever else it was. There were 'repeat people' who wanted to be part of this business, I couldn't believe it! She didn't sound all that 'present' or that 'artist' to me, but rather absent. It sounds sort of Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home to me.

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I'm not going to attack or defend her performance art, but I did find her personal history much more engrossing than I imagined I would. I was fascinated by her parents' heroism in WWII, for instance.

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It may well be that performance art does offer a kind of sanctuary for this kind of public masochist, who is sometimes a 'mutilant' as well, like the ones I mentioned, and also Orlan, whom my friend Christian saw and found totally depressing, like she was being dissected. ONe of my best friends here thinks Ms. Abramovic is AWESOME, and these people definitely have their audience. I think what occurs to me more about these types recently is that I don't think they are nearly as profound as I once did (and I never liked the public flagellation), but they're often extremely agressive and 'in-your-face', but some people think this is an 'intense experience'. Clearly, the perf. artists like this themselves think it's 'living intensely', as with Ms. Abramovic telling people they could do anything to her they wanted, and that guy holding the gun. It's all a bit too rich for me, I guess. Theatrical forms of inflicting misery seem contrived to me, it's hard enough to just ponder the oil spill, and one's personality and narcissism has nothing to do with that.

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