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Tue, May. 5th, 2009 07:24 am
A stagehand is born

Today is the first day of my art performance with Aki Sasamoto, Love is the End of Art. Contrary to what I suggested here on Sunday, there's no opening party tonight. We start at Zach Feuer gallery at 2pm and perform until 6pm, as we're doing every day, Tuesday to Saturday, until May 16th, with a longer performance (noon to six) on Saturdays.



Yesterday I tried on the kuroko costume, an incredibly bizarre set of arcane layers of black cloth. It's an official kabuki costume designed for professionals and ordered specially from Japan (cost about $150; the fancier ones are hand-stitched and more expensive). I sense I'm going to get very hot, working inside that thing for hours. It also picks up the dust from the gallery floor, so we didn't just rehearse yesterday, we spent a while sweeping the floor -- something, I remarked to Aki, takarazuka theatre students also spend a lot of time doing; for them floor-sweeping is considered a kind of spiritual discipline. I've decided to incorporate the act of sweeping in front of Aki as she walks during the performance. It's not something I've seen kuroko doing, but something I've witnessed when important yakuza are at the sento, and lackeys mop water ahead of their steps.



The kuroko -- as I'm playing him -- is a stooped, apologetic and deferential character, but also has something of the ninja about him, and something of the stalker. The gallery is darkened, and he carries his light with him, picking out Aki's actions and adding his own commentaries, which are halfway between an art critic from Artforum (and appropriately enough one of the things I'll be doing while I'm here this month is getting interviewed to possibly become a real art critic for Artforum) and Vito Acconci's performance in Theme Song (1973).

Just a word if you do come: photography and video is fine (in fact we're looking forward to seeing bits of this on YouTube), but no flash, please. And remember that we're in role, and can't speak to you until we finish at 6pm. Even if you're our long-lost half-brother from Tibet, we'll act as if you just aren't there. Don't take it personally!

6CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Tue, May. 5th, 2009 12:29 pm (UTC)

"for them floor-sweeping is considered a kind of spiritual discipline."

That's what i keep telling the kid i hire to work Saturdays in the shop.
Minimum wage, but he gets to take home all the free spirit he can sweep.


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(Anonymous)
Tue, May. 5th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)

It sounds a lot like being a Jainist monk, sweeping the ground before you as you walk.

Dod.o


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(Anonymous)
Tue, May. 5th, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)

I should add that the really posh monks use a peacock-feather duster and maybe mop as well, using water from a gourd.


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nojay
nojay
nojay
Tue, May. 5th, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC)

The term of art in SF convention Masquerades for your role is "stage ninja".


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bennycornelius
bennycornelius
Tue, May. 5th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)

Bobo Ashanti Rastafarianism has an interesting sweeping element too ... its members carry ornate brooms to stress their cleanliness. I fancied writing an ethnography about them once.


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magick_temple
magick_temple
magick_temple
Thu, May. 14th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)

So where can i get me a $150 kuroko costume???


ReplyThread