You May Clap When Moved
June 16, 2015
I know, I know. I’ve been starving you of updates from the world of performance art. By way of apology, here’s a short yet challenging piece by a gentleman named Reed Altemus, captured for posterity at the Mobius art collective’s Something Else Fest in Cambridge, Massachusetts, earlier this month. Mr Altemus, who “lives with his cat, Clyde, in Portland Maine,” describes himself as a “polyartist working in visual poetry, performance art, noise music and small press publishing.” Quizzed on the importance of his radical craft, he explains:
Traditional forms have failed us: they produce the same kinds of social situations as have ever been: we have poverty, wars, corporate imperialism, neocolonialism, racism, religious clashes of all kinds, homophobia, etc… Beethovan [sic] and Mahler have not solved the problem of violence in society; Tennyson and Poe have not given us answers to the problem of fascist dictatorships in the world. It is obvious to me that to change the world as a poet one must subvert entrenched assumptions which underlie oppressive or coercive discourses.
Yes, Mr Altemus is putting an end to war, dictatorship, violence and poverty by subverting our entrenched assumptions and oppressive discourses. See, for instance, here. He’s literally saving the world with his art. For reasons that will doubtless become clear, the following life-transforming, poverty-solving, dictator-toppling piece is called Amplifying My Clothes:
An earlier, no less dazzling performance, in which Mr Altemus spends 16 minutes wrapping an eggplant in string, can be seen – nay, beheld – here.