David Thompson


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April 26, 2017



After seeing someone wrap their head in meat twice, does it still hold the same weight as it did the first time?

Is it 'no'? It's 'no', isn't it?

What do I win?


What do I win?

That sound you hear is the shifting of your paradigms.

Y. Knott

How DARE they? Don't they realize the Earth is in danger? They should be wrapping their head in organic, non-GMO greens!!! What kind of example do they think they're setting for the younger generation?



Is it ‘no’? It’s ‘no’, isn’t it?

The guide to the piece notes, rather earnestly, that the first attempt, by Mr Carvalho, to envelop his head in bread and string prompted more amusement from the tiny audience than the repetition of it, by Ms Cochrane. This is presented as an invitation to “a fundamental shift in paradigm,” and some profound insight into gender politics. Or, how “different actions are read on different bodies.”

It’s as if these deep thinkers were previously unaware of the concepts of novelty and diminishing returns.


“This usage of time,” we’re told, “is an interesting one.”

They lied.

[...] objects and materials familiar to the medium of performance art: a bucket of water, a roll of tape, a roll of string, a spool of ribbon, bread, raw meat, a bottle of syrup of some sort, a carton of eggs, and a bag of flour.

Ah, yes. The tools of the trade. Just the other day I was thinking of staging some paradigm-shifting performance art, but the butcher was closed.


They lied.

I don’t think you’re treating the work with the awe and respect it deserves.

Embrace that critical thought.


I'm just too overwhelmed by the aristicness of it all to even speak. This was truly a life changing experience.


Note that the audience, such as it is, is outnumbered by the performers and planted photographers, who are also part of the piece.

R. Sherman

“...invites a fundamental shift..."

There seems to be a superfluous "f" in the word, "shift."

Márcio Carvalho enters the space wearing a white t-shirt and white boxer shorts. He stands on a plastic tarp that has been spread across the floor. On top of the tarp is a collection of objects and materials familiar to the medium of performance art: a bucket of water, a roll of tape, a roll of string, a spool of ribbon, bread, raw meat, a bottle of syrup of some sort, a carton of eggs, and a bag of flour.

Fantastic! And is the 'performance' as good as the prose?


walk-through guide

Stones are not mentioned in the list of props. Yet Action 2 is labelled "Gift Stones to the audience". Virtual stones? Or are stones a euphemism for something else?


Or are stones a euphemism for something else?

You have a filthy mind, madam.

David in Michigan

What is missing from these "performance" pieces is a good musical background. I decided I'd try to add it. Turned the performance volume down as much as it would go, opened a new window, found a couple of classical music Youtube pieces, started both videos ...... a definite improvement.

1st: Mozart

2nd: Beethoven

Good clean fun.........

Minutes later the objects are reset and Shannon Cochrane enters wearing a black t-shirt and black underwear. As the red syrup trickles from her mouth and splatters on the floor, it becomes apparent that she will be engaging in the same series of actions with the same [albeit reset] materials that we just witnessed. This offers the opportunity [genuinely benevolent enlightenment is best shared passively] to observe [because we shan't perhaps see] the subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences between the artists’ execution of each action [as opposed to their what; bowel movements?]. This structure also requires [no more passivity!] the audience to contemplate [hardly] ways in which different actions are read on different bodies [,] and all of [what, no standing in cheese? No latex gloves?] the cultural baggage that comes along with this notion [it being nothing whatsoever more].

Why yes; yes the prose is as least as gooder as the performance.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

I never get invited to the good parties.


I am curious what is in the bucket.

But not that curious.


Performance Art: theatrical activity for exhibitionists who don't have the talent, application or craft to put on an actual play that anyone not suitably primed by years of FineArtThink would actually want to see.


I don't get it... I mean, they have clothes on...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The structure of “Untitled” presents an exaggeration of binaries. The differences in the artists’ perceived gender and race is not only enhanced by their choice to wear black and white, but also highlights an element of competition.

It is as if they were reading my mind, that is exactly the first thing I thought of when I saw two honkeys breaking eggs on their heads for no apparent reason.

“Untitled” asks how long does it take for an action to become cliché? How long does it take for an action to become irrelevant...

I am thinking milliseconds in this case.


My late father favoured Andrews Liver Salts whenever he fancied a shift of paradigm, and the results never stank as bad as this bilge.


Head-wrapping is apparently a thing. Though in this case it’s a daring “infiltration in public space.”

R. Sherman

Though in this case it’s a daring “infiltration in public space.”

How does one infiltrate a public space? "Infiltration" implies something surreptitious and forbidden. By definition, "public spaces" are, you know, open to the public. Just walk in, in front of God and everybody.

Or am I spending way too much time thinking about this?


Or am I spending way too much time thinking about this?

Have you considered blogging?


"Note that the audience, such as it is, is outnumbered by the performers and planted photographers"

It's possible the most of the audience are friends and acquaintances of the performers. That was certainly the case the last time I was blackmailed into attending a pathetically bad dance performance. (Go because it is good for client relations.)


Notice the difficulty the "artist" had in cracking eggs on such a soft surface.


Notice the difficulty the “artist” had in cracking eggs on such a soft surface.

That was one of the few memorable details. I briefly wondered if they might be duck eggs, which are a little more robust. And then I wondered why you’d bother to use eggs that are (slightly) harder to break. And then I ended up back at an earlier question, i.e., why bother bashing eggs into your face at all, let alone pretend that bashing eggs into your face is a vital component of your alleged art?

Strange how one’s mind wanders, in an attempt to escape, while enduring this hokum.

R. Sherman

Have you considered blogging?

I did that for about six years and had a nice little eclectic web journal with a fair number of regular visitors from around the world. It was fun while it lasted. Alas, somehow I attracted the attention of an insane person--a professor at an East Coast university no less--who insisted on posting nasty things about my wife and children in the comments. When I banned her, she doubled down until I wound up tracking her down and threatening her and her employer with a lawsuit as she was posting/emailing from her work computer. To this day, I have no idea what it was about my musings which set her off. But, when the dust settled, I figured life was too short and retired from blogging.

Now, I just aggravate you.


Now, I just aggravate you.

[ Slides bowl of dodgy-looking trail mix along bar. ]

That sound you hear is the shifting of your paradigms.
Bugger. Going to have to visit the chiroparadigmtor and have those put back in.

Also, I reject the lack of pretense in the title. "Untitled" would be much more daring if it had quotation marks as part of its title and must be reproduced in italic. ""Untitled"" would question our dominant understanding of things in print. Interrogate them, even.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...an insane person--a professor at an East Coast university...

I am not sure if that is redundant, or just stating a job requirement.


The arts, they ennoble.

R. Sherman

[ Slides bowl of dodgy-looking trail mix along bar. ]

I see someone's already appropriated the cashews.


Well, hit me with vodka-tonic, but just whisper the word "tonic" over the glass, thanks.

The arts, they ennoble.
I know I feel at least as ennobled as the last time I saw an 8-month-old dribbling. That was a physical 8-month-old as well as a mental one, though. Maybe long experience (say, 40 years or so) as an 8-month-old brings subtlety in craft.

Because I know you heathens are all starved of high culture . . . .

Hmmmm. Given what's described and pictured, apparently the actual quality artists and performance, rather than frantically posturing failure, would remain The Kipper Kids. And the Kipper Kids date all the way back to the 'Seventies . . . .


Whatever happened to 'Don't play with your food.'?


Not catching me out on this one, David!

I resisted the temptation. Heroic I am!

Lancastrian Oik


They're just a bad Rocio Boliver covers band.

This has cake, sparklers, a man in a velvet tux, amateur surgery, some *ahem* "gentlemen's areas" and as usual Rocio ends up getting (a) butt nekkid and (b) covered in stuff. It's waaaay better, art-wise, let me tell you.


The arts, they ennoble.

And the artists, they beclown.

If I may caption that photo:

"God I hope this is good enough to get another grant. I need the money. "


It's waaaay better, art-wise, let me tell you.

Now we're talking. For an old gal, Rocio delivers the goods. That's performance art!

Lionel Ebb

You are all philistine scum.

I, for one, was deeply moved and have introduced 300 grams of corned beef into my Y-fronts as an hommage. It's better than this, at least: http://bit.ly/2cEVGnh


And suddenly Rachel Bloom singing sex-junk doesn't seem so bad . . .

Billy Whiz

Be sure to put on your bread hat. They're forecasting a butterstorm this afternoon...

Quint and Jessel

My dad had a fine critical term for this sort of thing: "Dumb bastards."


Did they get an NEA grant? I'm sure they did.

If Trump manages to shut down the NEA that alone will make his Presidency a resounding success.


This is sort of related.... but with underwear

At least this is entertaining. I doubt she applied for a grant.

And I think she was first.


The next time I have over imbibed I will explain to my better half "No dear, I'm NOT drunk, this is 'performance art'"

Killer Marmot

The performance itself is staggeringly inane, of no interest to anyone with half a brain.

What is interesting is knowing who sponsors this stuff and why. What is the thought process of any person, audience, or institution that decides to support these ... things?


So were the people with the cameras part of the performance, or were they people genuinely interested in documenting this half-assed child's fit? And which would make them the bigger bunch of maroons?

PS- If your four-minutes-and-change video has me skipping ahead looking for less-boring parts, you suck at being controversial.


He took his head out of the bucket too soon.

Black Ball

So for all these years attending end of season footy trips, all we were doing was performance art? Sandwiches across faces, drinking raw eggs, eating regurgitated food? All this was performance art? Do I and my mates get backpayed?

Black Ball

Alas Ann Coulter has cancelled.

Vince N


The boundless creativity carries over into the nomenclature.

Hopp Singg

There is another way of wrapping your head in meat, one that doesn't require an innocent animal to die for your art, although it does require more, er, artistic flexibility.

And I would consider paying real money to see that. One time.


What strikes me as interesting are two aspects.

1) This is psychologically behaving like toddlers, so strikes me as reversion to toddler behaviour. It makes me wonder if their political understandings are toddler-like as well.

2) Others here have said this but this is also grossly narcissistic, attention-seeking behaviour. Which makes one wonder about the psychological health of these people.


grossly narcissistic, attention-seeking behaviour.

I think what grates - or grimly amuses, depending on mood - is the wearying combination of banality and intellectual pretense, a default in such circles. It’s the Dunning-Kruger vanity of it – a desperate, unconvincing pantomime of being clever and insightful, while offering only the most feeble and generic verbal flummery, and while showing no discernible talent or aptitude for aesthetics. As if such vacuous preening tat were good enough for the likes of us.

Impostors gonna impost, I suppose.


I presume this is what you meant, Hopp Sing:

Although it's already metaphorically in evidence.

Hopp Singg

Ah, you've saved me the price of admission, PiperPaul. Thanks!

Greg Allan

"a handy walk-through guide is available here."

I'm sorry but my eyes continue to render that URL as "the pretense".

Antony Brooks

You are very good, I would like to have you in plaster to put you in my house. I think you could bring my mansion to higher level.


Oh boy, I read "Indeed, such is its artistic and intellectual immensity, the piece you’re about to witness “invites a fundamental shift of paradigm.”" as

Indeed, such is its AUTISTIC and intellectual immensity, the piece you’re about to witness “invites a fundamental shift of paradigm.”

Imagine the disappointment...


Artistic directions

Daniel Ream

You laugh, but that literally happened to me the last time I visited the National Gallery in Ottawa. In the modern art wing there's a black cube in the middle of the floor in a gallery with no other benches or resting seats. And the whole Gallery is furnished in Ikea stark anyway.


You laugh, but . . .

A pair of glasses . . . .

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