Once again it’s time to poke a stick in the mental bog of performance art. And so readers are invited to sample the aesthetic wares of Rocío Boliver, an “underground cultural icon” whose career spans musical performance, video, raves and “porno-erotic texts.” Ms Boliver describes herself as “a 56 year old woman living in the 21st century,” a “devotee of transgression” who “aims to demystify the horror of old age in an ironical way,” while “questioning the capitalist system that’s imposed on women in this stage of life.” Her Artistic Statement (NSFW) tells us, “Doing performance art is the only way I can get my own back on life… I feel blessed when I leave those who watch what I do flabbergasted. Happy to wipe their stupid Hollywood smiles off their faces.” She describes her performances as “electroshocks… applied to listless, alienated minds… speechless idiots.” No sell-out flattering of the audience, then.
Highlights from Ms Boliver’s recent triumph Between Menopause and Old Age can be seen in the video below. Its transgressive anti-capitalist electroshocking will, I’m sure, shake your world. Readers are advised there is nudity throughout, along with barbed wire, self-harm, a bicycle pump and large amounts of Sellotape.
That sound you hear is the trembling of capitalism and the imminent collapse of bourgeois conformity.
Anna sums things up quite nicely in the comments:
No, she’s not conformist at all.
There is of course a long and tedious tradition of self-harm in performance art, seen most recently here. It’s hardly less common than nudity or faeces. Or anti-capitalist pablum. For instance, Marina Abramović, now an elder stateswoman of performance art, has over the years cut herself with razor blades, allowed audiences to burn her, and brushed her hair aggressively until her head started to bleed. What I’ve seen of these things is very boring and the aesthetics escape me. It’s hard to see much beauty through all that pretension and psychodrama. Though to be fair, some have embraced self-mutilation in a slightly less time-wasting and roundabout manner. In 1971 an artist named Chris Burden had a friend load a rifle and then shoot him in the arm. Mr Burden felt this would lead to him being “taken seriously as an artist.” Though it seems this colossal seriousness had to be reaffirmed three years later, when Burden felt it artistically necessary to have both of his hands nailed to the roof of a VW Beetle.
Hitting the tip jar will only encourage me.