Not a cool opinion but the vast
majority of performance art is frequently pretentious, boring and so
seeped in theory or exaggerated emotion it lacks entertainment value.
I hate art snobbery, the idea that entertainment is for the ignorant
masses and art for the elite. I believe in art for all...but I want
it to make me feel something...ideally something positive.
Just got back from a gig in Vienna
(where I lived for four years after my degree...with the intention of
being a 'decadent artist' which resulted in the birth of my drag
persona) and saw one of the most endearing pieces of performance I've
seen. The performer (who I'll call Bernard...he looks like a Bernard)
is simple in his approach....minimal costume (gold crown and a cape),
a small box as a stage and technically, nothing but a boogie box.
Bernard stands on the box and dances wildly...that's it.
What I love is his childlike innocence,
energy and obvious love of cheesy pop music. So much street art
consists of gold statues or forcing “wacky”, this is abstract and
honest; entertaining for entertainments sake.
For the 20 minutes I watched him, many
walked past confused and disturbed by his unconventional performance.
Then there were those who were excited and amused by his frantic
movements, some joined in (as in the video). They may have been doing
it for a photo op or curiosity but they all seemed genuinely
entertained and surprisingly respectful of what he was doing.
You don't get that with someone
painting themselves with a used tampon while singing French feminist
theory in Swahili.......
Unpretentious, unscripted and
unintentionally conceptual..thank you Bernard....you make the world
of performance far more interesting and happy.