rituals of rented island

LAST WEEK! Don’t miss Rituals of Rented Island, which revisits 1970s New York—a groundbreaking moment in the history of performance art—through work by Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, and John Zorn, among others.

Installation view of Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan 1970-1980 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 31, 2013–February 2, 2014). Photograph by Ron Amstutz

This Saturday, artists Jared Bark and Sylvia Palacios Whitman will reinvestigate performances from 1977, initially performed within blocks of one another in SoHo.

Installation view of Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan 1970–1980 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 31, 2013–February 2, 2014). Photograph by Ron Amstutz

Pig, Child, Fire! consisted of five acts. In the first, a giant puppet hung upside down from the ceiling. A man’s head emerged from its anus as a woman read ‘Stavrogin’s Confession’ from Dostoyevsky’s The Possessed, a live goat (rather than the eponymous pig) nibbled cabbage, and, on the street, a bearded man walked by with the sleeve of his coat on fire. The even more disorienting second act took place mainly on West Broadway as a pair of gangsters darted through traffic, engaging in a slapstick shoot-out.” — from J. Hoberman’s essay on, among other things, Squat Theater, one performance group featured in “Rituals of Rented Island,” a show currently open at the Whitney. I would include the final three acts in his description, but they sounded sort of boring.

vimeo

Happy birthday to Vito Acconci, born today in 1940. In this video, Acconci discusses his performance project Security Zone (1971), which took place at New York City’s Pier 18, near the site of the future Whitney.

See Acconci’s work in Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980 through February 2.

The groundhog’s shadow isn’t the only one on view today. Check out Ken Jacobs's 3-D shadow-play in Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980, closing today.

Ken Jacobs, “Slow is Beauty”—Rodin, Idea Warehouse, November 1974. Courtesy the artist. Photograph by J. F. Brown

“Defiantly edgy and challenging.” Time Out New York gives Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan 1970–1980 five stars.

Kipper Kids, performance at Forum Theater, Berlin, 1973. © Kipper Kids, courtesy the artist

Tonight, artist Theodora Skipitares will lead an evening of performance and demonstration around her practice of puppet theater.

Theodora Skipitares, Skysaver, performance at Galerie ak, Frankfurt, November 8–16, 1980. Courtesy the artist. Photograph by Christian Hanussek