Saturday, April 20, 2013

13 Rooms - 20 April

Kaldor Art Projects is back with their 27th project.  This one is called 13 Rooms, and you guessed it, there are nearly 13 rooms of performance art squeezed into Pier 2/3 down in Millers Point.

The 1st room is a bit of a cheat.  Tino Sehgal has instructed the greeters to say something nonsensical after they hand you a catalogue.  I think I got something about Putin in Finland.  Suitably confused I got right around and checked everything out.  I came on the first day and brought the family back on the 2nd last day (that's right, get there on Sunday or you miss out).  This has definitely been discovered by the crowds and on Saturday as well as the line to get in there were lines for Hirst's room, the Swap room and Marina Abromivic's room.  I enjoyed getting around sans crowd on the first Thursday, but it is fun taking some junior critics to performance art as they ask the honest questions.  Even half of Clark Beaumont (I think it was Beaumont) cracked at smile at the repeated "why are those girls hugging up there" line of questioning from my 2 year old. No sweetheart you don't get it, performance art asks questions, it doesn't give answers!  The 'why's' kept coming, especially in the Joan Jonas room for mirror check.  Why didn't that girl have her clothes on?  Another good question indeed.  Some of the works have a rotating cast of performers doing the art.  I am not sure I am allowed to say it but I preferred Mirror Check with the more attractive artist.  But perhaps I wasn't getting the deeper meaning.  I don't think the identity mattered so much in other works, for instance in Simon Fujiwara's 'Future / Perfect' where a non-English speaking man lies in a tanning bed and recites random English phrases.  We liked the dancers making like a revolving door and especially 'In the blink of an eye' where Xu Chen has installed someone just above the ground in what looks like the act of falling (pictured top).  I really didn't get Santiago Serra's room where he had war veterans facing the corner. Not. Much. Doing.  All in all there were more hits than misses for me which is a pretty good outing for performance art.

Points:  I think I will give the 3 points to the Hirst twins.  I saw 2 different sets, a pair of sisters and a pair of brothers and both interacted well with the viewers coming to see them.  I am also partial to the odd dot painting here and there.  2 points to 'In the Blink of an eye', this was straight up clever.  I will give 1 point to the Swap Room as it was nice and interactive.  I wonder what Roman Ondak would swap me for a point?  I'd want something pretty good!

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