Performance Art Minus Performance

The artists are not present at the Whitney

The Kipper Kids perform at Berlin's Forum Theater, 1973
Kipper Kids, courtesy of the artists
The Kipper Kids perform at Berlin's Forum Theater, 1973

Location Info


Whitney Museum Of American Art

945 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10021

Category: Museums

Region: East 80s


'Rituals of Rented Island'
The Whitney Museum
945 Madison Avenue
212-570-3600, whitney.orgThrough February 2

I left the exhibition pondering the merits of performance art — was it the fault of the curator that the iconic work didn't move me, or is performance art a medium that I just don't connect with? Such questions spurred me to attend All the King's Horses . . . none of his men, a performance by Dave McKenzie presented as part of Performa 13, the contemporary performance biennial running in New York until November 24. The program billed it as a "critique of African-American representations in the media," but all I saw was a well-groomed black man wearing tap dancing shoes, smearing chalk all over himself and the floor, chanting mantras, and listing the names of candy bars while he stomped his feet. The audience gave him 20 minutes before they started fidgeting. Afterward, Canal Street, with all of is garbage and glittering lights, seemed a far more interesting stage on which to experience the performative aspects of life in New York City.

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