Diana Arce

How Meta can One be about Meta Performance Art

In U-Bahnhof Schönlein Straße is a display of some performances from an Artist that I had the joy to meet briefly. His exhibition of documentation which is, funny enough, built into the displays at the Rice Up Stand on the platform shows quite a few works that are pretty interesting. There is also a cell phone work that you can all and then also leave a comment about that will eventually be part of the documentation of the project.

My favorite video is part of what I believe is an ongoing project, The Modern Door. In this video the artist and a troupe of performers dressed in suits create a swarm of business people trying to occupy the same space in a vacant parking lot. I found the work quite intriguing and can see the potential for it to function in an interventionist nature. I love artworks that can do this to space. I’m such a huge fan of anything that can be mildly related to Situationist International principles, that I am almost always a sucker for these kinds of works.

After the opening, the rag tag troupe of suits put on what was suppose to be a little performance at an aquaintance’s birthday party. What ended up happening was my personal version of the 7th circle of hell. They swarmed and they spoke often in fragments referring mostly to themselves as a business in the business of performing. At one point they started pulling a mostly unwilling audience into the swarm in a meager attempt at making the work more participatory. What as a video without sound which worked so well for me, turned into a live performance on performing in suits. The more meta it got the more annoyed and bored I became.

Still, I am willing to look a little more into what is happening with the Modern Door. It looks like they are experimenting with many different forms (apparently they are also trying to make a mess of stand up comedy) and still trying to find their way, so it would be unfair of me to completely write them off. I love participatory work and as a person who sometimes defines myself as a performance artist, I was really disenchanted with the association. The is nothing worse than art about the art of art.

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