Thursday, November 14, 2013
On Saturday, I watched a performance art piece by a local performance artist, friendly bartender, and former co worker: Drew Davis. He had told me earlier in the week his intent for how the performance piece would go, explaining the dark choreography of it. I didn't know if it would leave an impression on me by how he explained it in broad daylight in the performance space. Foam City, beautifully placed next to a Hyper realist painter's studio and an informal Christian church with many attractive young members. Foam City rents the rest of its space to artists and teachers who simply need a space. It also rents space to small businesses comprised of musical and visual artists and patrons.
As mentioned earlier, it is also a performance space.
The wash of the arrhythmic noise came in waves through the darkness, slowly and methodically rushing into the audience over and again. Drew nailed three large pictures to broad planks of particle board. He mounted one after another after another to easels made of two by four lumber. As he did this in the dark he bore an air of someone not happy to do the task. Instead, he appeared as some one who simply knew it had to be done. Everyone, this is what you are thinking about and here it is for you to see.
Bondage prints blown up, fuzzed out, washed around, altered into partially abstract and expressive compositions in black and white. Three large prints from bondage, sado-masochism and fetish news prints. The last of the three prints was woman's face being urinated on by two penis's. Something about them reminded me of De Koonig's Black Paintings. These fetishes of sex and power have always existed . The fact that I can boil it down to two authors who have been dead, one for over two centuries, Sade and Masoch, put both a chill and a jolt in my body. If this is too much to bare how will you ever function in this world?
The experience lasted precisely the amount of time to make me unquestionably happy to be alive for the rest of the night and not because I enjoyed the experience. It didn't matter if anyone enjoyed it. It was going to happen either way. A recording of this would be an excellent educational resource in an advanced course in existentialism. Philosophy majors would ponder it to no end if they were told to drop everything and ponder it. Obviously it made and impression on me and I am very glad I was there to see it.
After the performance, a band from Columbus, Ohio named Nervosa played a set of punk (or what I perceive to be punk based on several bands making music in the late seventies and earlier eighties in a poor area of a city, almost any city I now believe) songs: Fast, calculated, precise, but still erratic at times. It was the first time I had heard Nervosa and their music. I wanted to jump around. There is nothing better to do when hearing such music than jumping around to achieve singular physical and cathartic joy. I can understand if someone would not won't to do such a thing at the time, but I hope they do not forget this joy too completely too early. It is a very satisfying thing to do with like minded individuals and yes, in fact, it can get out of hand.
Speaking, personally, it became out of hand for me once, awhile back at a different show. Two young Caucasian men decided to bring a case of Busch Light to Foam City and push around a lot of art and music club members, or art and music majors with double majors in business, even if they were not really enrolled in any school. It became out of hand when one of the two males walked up behind a young woman in a leather jacket and flannel shirt with black rimmed glasses and pushed her hard to the concrete floor without warning.
I turned to the male who had pushed her and said "hey man." From the left I saw his friend rush towards me. His friend punched me in the left cheek no harder than when I bounced my face off of someone's shoulder during a song. It didn't make or leave an impression so I continued "just chill out."
"Come at me!" he screamed in my face as several people grabbed his friend.
I put my hands out. "Just chill out" I said again.
"You pussy! Come at me!" He responded. "I'll fuck you up!"
"Jesus. Man. Just calm down." I said.
Paul, the owner of Foam City walked up to us. "Hey! Man!" Paul said loudly and the man shoved Paul as hard as he could. They were both escorted out of Foam City. Both of them should be athletes because it took a lot of people to take them out. They would make good football players, and probably better wrestlers. Better with instruction than intuition with them.
I would guess one of them will find happiness outside of who they were and how they acted at the time due to the influence eastern religion has on my mind. Black and white bleeds grey when splashed together. Add red and see what happens.
Pink Reason played last. One of their last shows. Pink Reason is Kevin Debroux, or Kevin Failure. Many others have played support cast to Pink Reason, but Pink Reason, at its heart, is Kevin. Many people I personally know have played support cast to Kevin, happily, at least for time. "I'm kind of an asshole." Kevin was quoted in a Columbus, Ohio news source.
Kevin mentioned something about Wisconsin in between songs.
"I thought you guys were from Russia!" I yelled.
As they played, Kevin, shirtless, writhed up next to a group of people I clustered around in spare flooded white light. He slammed his microphone into my left chest plate and it pulled a muscle. It continues to ache as friends can attest; I feel like doing nothing, but complaining about it sometimes; the ache, not the experience. I think he wanted to make my heart hurt anyway he could at the time.
Things to do:
1. Clean out my car.
2. Sweep and tidy up my room.
3. Write Drew a letter (or just publish what I've been writing.)
4. Reread what I've been writing.
Watching Pink Reason with platonic stillness for the rest of the show, after I pulled a muscle, I studied the bands movements on stage. They were all striking in their movements and brooding as they reacted to the sounds and words they made. They were everyone in the bands songs and they no doubt felt them whenever they heard and repeated and sang them. This was also true of many in the crowd. This experience on this night was unconditionally loved by many people in this city. The content may be wholly different, but the experience is the same.
It was a very good show. I am glad I was there. These kind of nights seem rare and I don't think one can easily recreate them after being there, but I find it admirable to try. I am trying.
On Sunday I explored the Fountain Gallery on Main street across from the Tippecanoe County Courthouse. The gallery was recently opened by Purdue University. It was exhibiting the University's permanent art collection. I did not know Purdue had a permanent art collection. I attended and graduated from Purdue with a degree in art education without knowing it had a permanent art collection. My mom, an employee of Purdue for over thirty years explained later that there was a trading program at Purdue where employees can hang a piece of art from the permanent collection on their office wall for a period of time. Time share on an object instead of a place. A time elapse of tossing works of art to other persons when one is done with them. There is a Picasso. There is a Dali. There is a Kollwitz. There are countless others by masters whose names escape me at the time. This was the biggest mindfuck of the weekend because everything else felt natural.Works of art by some of my favorite visual artists. How did I now know about this truth?
The best art is through passion and catharsis, no matter its medium, but some choose to hide it until they no longer can.
The greatest of therapies.
Aaron C. Molden