Shitfaced at Gallery Weekend Berlin

Here's the latest video blog from the gang at CIA. We were lucky enough to witness some real performance art at Gallery Weekend Berlin, art that challenged the boundaries of art, that toyed with government and government and good taste. Well, the performance was shit, both literally and figuratively; the real performance was the art dealers calling the local police. We think the performance was awful, but the gallerist cgetting the cops to arrest made us feel that these alleged hip patrons of the arts are nothing but tawdry merchants.

Let's not too harsh, the performers had a nice bottle trick and the dealers, I'm sure the dealers can do interesting things with bottles too.

In the height of Berlin Gallery Weekend, a man in his thirties, short hair, button shirt, blue jeans, screamed at the top of his lungs while a stylish lesbian played tambourine alongside, screeching in a regular rhythm. Clothes came off at one point as they moved from one high-end art gallery to another in the building. The woman’s shirt became unbuttoned, the man’s pants descended round his ankles, his green American Apparel undies shifted down around his thighs, he shat into his hand (not pausing in his screams) and smeared it onto his forehead. The German gallerists said nothing. But of course, called the police.

As for the shitsmearing American Apparel model, exceptions exist as with anything, but transgressive performance art more often than not is bad, boring, and shudder inducing. But not the shudder of shock and horror that the artist may be shooting for, but a shudder of pity and embarrassment.

Somehow this scene acts as a metaphor for what Berlin as a center of cultural production is going through, the old style radical and transgressive actions still weakly cling on, but are quickly squashed by the local art marketeers. The gentrifying of a city changes the space for radical action, making a world (the art world) that no matter how bad the art should have acted less reactionary (and let’s call it, fascistic) to artists.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The reaction to call the Police is typical Berlin.