It’s the 4th of July and as friends are clamoring to make plans, I am reflecting on why is it even important to celebrate the 231rst year of our country. We continue to lose civil liberties that were written into our constitution every day. We are in a war that is barely televised or covered in the news. Paris Hilton gets more coverage than peers that are getting their limbs blown off as we speak. Immigrants are vilified, poor healthcare, full jails and affordable housing is not a right. Locally, in Brooklyn despite neighborhood groups voicing opposition to big money development from the Atlantic Yards, Coney Island, Greenpoint, Williamsburg to Carroll Gardens the voices of the people mean nothing and if you live in Bushwick ,Bed Stuy or Crown Heights your voice really means nothing. Money talks. SO that being said despite that fact the Reverend Billy from “The Church of Stop Shopping” got arrested for reciting the First Amendment in Union Square Park last week sometimes we can go under the radar and go to performance pieces such as the one at Issue Project Room as I did last night and not get pulled out in handcuffs.
Joe Wenderoth & Gibby Haynes. I review this as someone who does not usually go to poetry readings or performance art events. Never has been my cup of tea, too pretentious. I went to this one to see if I have “matured”. The first part of the reading Joe spoke of blowjobs and Jesus with images of both projected on the wall behind him. The second part of the reading Gibby Haynes joined in and generated some great soundscapes from his laptop computer. Images projected children making their First Holy Communion, swimming in pools or at the beach were intercepted with more shocking images such as pornography, the elephant that Edison electrocuted and more pornography as Joe spoke on. The most entertaining part to me was the Q&A afterwards when people asked some very earnest questions about how they picked their images and the answers were basically “we just picked the most shocking”. Gibby looked great for a 50 year old, looked early 30’s and he was a bit antagonistic to the questions but in a fun way, apparently this was the first time Joe and Gibby had met and they arranged this whole thing long distance. Never would of known it!
Anyway as someone that has been exposed to performance art through going to clubs in NYC for the past 20 odd years, not much was new here, it was “classic performance art”. Even though it’s not my thing it is important that I can still go see it, it’s keeping the First Amendment alive. Free Speech baby yeah!