“Audience Experiments: Contemporary Art in the Age of Spectacle” Reviewed

posted by
Filed under: Prank News

An attempt to intellectualize the institutionalization of interactive performance art, or… how to make a Lincoln log.

Double Play
by Nikki Columbus
June 1, 2010

In April, the Kitchen presented The Juvenal Players by Pablo Helguera, which theatricalized a panel discussion between a curator, a collector, a critic, an artist, and an arts administrator. Helguera, an artist and the Museum of Modern Art”™s director of adult and academic programs, has written extensively on performance, pedagogy, and art-world etiquette (see The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style), even once complaining: “In my role as programmer, I have frequently been frustrated by the low or nonexistent public-speaking skills of those who lecture and participate in academic discussions.” He clearly relished the chance to create a full cast of panelists speaking eloquently and behaving badly.

It was therefore with some anticipation that I attended a recent forum organized by Helguera, “Audience Experiments: Contemporary Art in the Age of Spectacle,” held at MoMA on May 18. The program was structured in three “acts”: a presentation by artist Andrea Fraser; a roundtable featuring theater and performance practitioners, curator RoseLee Goldberg, and UC Berkeley professor Shannon Jackson; and a performance by artist David Levine. Would the participants turn on one another and reveal their deepest, darkest secrets? Or this time, given the program”™s title, would the audience take the lead?

Read the rest of this article here.