Performance art can be scripted or unscripted, random or carefully orchestrated. The performance can be live or via media; and must involve: time, space, the performer’s body and a relationship between performer and audience. It can happen anywhere and last any length of time, even a lifetime.
The line between performance art and an artist life as a performance piece has become one in the same for some performers. And no one does this act better than Alec Baldwin.
A man who seems to be in a constant agitated state of “PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN! Coffee is for closers,” when it comes to dealing with the public, people he disagrees with and humanity itself at times.
I’ve seen a great deal of performance art; from Karen Finley smearing chocolate on her naked body, as the stain man leaves on woman, to Annie Sprinkles removing a yam from her vagina because, well, that’s what liberal artists do to make a statement, embarrass themselves.
Thanks to CNN, I can watch the self-proclaimed bleeding-heart-liberal Anthony Bourdain go on an eating tour through bankrupt Detroit while performing the part of a French pantomime wondering, “golly how did Detroit get this way,” while playing ignorant to its 50 years of Democrat rule.
The latest offering’ from the world of performance art comes from a London based art student Clayton David Pettet, who is preparing to perform a piece he calls “Art School Stole My Virginity.” Mr. Pettet, a nineteen-year-old gay London art student describes his piece:
On Jan. 25, 2014, viewers will be invited to a private art show in Central London where the artist will lose his virginity to a live audience, encouraging those watching to question the importance of virginity and whether our traditional values hold true–is deflowering really a loss?
The term “traditional values” is his description of a sex act in front of an audience. I don’t blame Mr. Pettet for his understanding of traditional values; it’s what the media, pop culture and this administration have been telling us traditional values are.
As a performance piece Baldwin is not unlike Pettet. They both are like that falling tree in the forest we wonder about. If no one sees the performance, would acts like these make a sound in our culture? Or are they just feeding a public’s insatiable appetite for bad art?
I love Baldwin’s work as an actor; but his performance suffers when it’s not scripted, in the same way Bourdain’s unscripted performance suffers from a lack of honesty when it’s not willing to examine itself.
Pettet is still looking for a partner to put-into his art show. Baldwin could prove once and for all he’s not a homophobic bigot by ending Mr. Pettet’s search.