Performance Art: I Hereby Volunteer to Vomit on Susan Sarandon

20041020_Leno_SusanSarandon



According to James Hirsen of Examiner.com, Susan Sarandon had an odd night recently:
Sarandon attended the third anniversary of The Box in New York's Lower East Side. A transsexual cabaret performer named Rose Wood engaged in projectile vomiting on stage and hit Sarandon with it. Standing nearby were Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber. According to Wood it was not intended as an affront to the actress and she didn't take it that way. “Apparently [Sarandon] got a big kick out of it. She squealed with surprise and loved it when several handsome gentlemen wiped it off of her. She had a ball! I saw her assistant downstairs afterward, and he was moved by it! She was in great spirits,” Wood told the New York Press.

Nothing says fun like vomit.

This sort of “performance art” is the death of true art. I know, I know, art is subjective. But transsexuals vomiting on people is not art – it’s gross. And mostly, it carries an unvarying underlying leftism: the idea that action that is “subversive” is automatically artistic. Art historian Roselee Goldberg sums up performance art this way: “Performance has been a way of appealing directly to a large public, as well as shocking audiences into reassessing their own notions of art and its relation to culture.” Here’s what Janelle Reinelt and Joseph Roach say in Critical Theory and Performance: “The current commodification process of much performance art suggests than any subversive potential inherent in the art form loses its capacity to engage in any radical critique once it enters more mainstream mass culture venues and spectatorships.”

The truth is that performance art is largely a function of critical theory (one of the awful creations of the Frankfurt School), which suggests that any artistic material that is worth its salt ought to criticize. Hence the production of art which is utterly disgusting and disreputable – at least it doesn’t enforce the capitalist status quo by appealing to the people.

Boiled down to its essence, this is just elitist claptrap. Unfortunately, it’s taken seriously by the vast majority of New York and Los Angeles artists, who somehow think it’s cool to be the object of transsexual chunk-blowing.

I’m not a transsexual, obviously, but I’ll make Susan Sarandon and her ilk this offer: I’ll vomit on them at any time, anywhere, so long as they say the same thing – that it’s avant garde performance art worthy of praise. Seriously. I have a very strong gag reflex. Which is just one reason the left’s version of art is so unbelievably hard to stomach.

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