They say that Desperate Acts call for desperate measures. Well on the evening of Friday the 18th Desperate Acts were performed on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name currently on view at Macy Gallery, Columbia University.

This night of performances was not one to be missed and in my opinion it was one of the best accompaniments to a show I’ve witnessed in some time. The exhibition has been curated by Maurizio Pellegrin and Gerry Pryor. I met both originally through NYU’s program in Venice, Italy and then mentored with Gerry Pryor (shown above) who was also the first to perform.

I arrived and quickly there after found myself grinning at the expectation of what was to come. The artists were allotted ten minutes for each performance and the schedule was closely followed. Jason Martin chose to debut a new piece in his “Power Animal System” series where he chose, for the first time, to reveal his identity instead of donning a mask and performing his wolf alter-ego. Curt Confer, “Housed” shown in the first image above, spoke into a microphone while his lips and mouth were displayed in a monitor displayed floor level in a model of the familiar western structure. I remember first seeing Curt perform several years ago while he was an MFA candidate at New York University and his self-deprecating yet self-encouraging model was awe inspiring.

Lastly was Clifford Owens performing Ben Patterson’s “Seminar 1” and “Whipped Cream (Lick)” both from 1964. This piece was really exciting as it also sought out audience participation. We were asked if we trusted/didn’t trust the artist and to then stand on opposite sides of the room. He often changed his mind reversing the sides of the room for trust and not trust. Viewers were asked if they trust him, and if they trust themselves. We were then in a pitch black room as lights were turned out and the artist clinked and clanked eventually revealing spilled coffee granules. The next piece involved three models (plus volunteer Jason Martin) who were naked and decoratively sprayed with Whipped Cream. Present viewers were then invited to lick the whipped cream off the naked body of each participant. A few giggles permeated the crowd and then several brave people stepped forward and proceeded to lick the model of his/her choice.

After this event at Columbia I then took a taxi from the Upper West Side to Greenpoint Brooklyn and Allan Nederpelt Gallery where Leo’s upcoming exhibition The Decelerator, will open March 18th. The afterparty featured musicians Mirror/Mirror and they totally rocked. The singer had a gauzy sheet and light wrapped around his body while he sang and overall I was reminded of a more dance inspired performance of Nico Vascellari’s band With Love. The band had a set at MoMA PS1 the following day, and I’m super happy I was able to attend this event.

Desperate Acts-Performance Into Art: is on view at Macy Gallery, Columbia University until February 25th, 2011.

More soon!
— Posted from my iPhone