In the past five years, I have attended or participated in performance art exhibitions more times than I've gone to the cinema. Even including video I've watched at home, the number of feature films I have watched since 2012 is still lower than the number of performance art shows I've taken in, by a rough estimate. Just to go out on a proverbial limb, I guess that's unusual for an American citizen.
This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, Houston welcomes performance artists from various corners of this cornerless planet, including our own corner. They are converging here for Experimental Action, the reboot of the Lone Star Explosion biennial that Clutch City hosted in 2012 and 2014.
Although I did stage a piece in the 2014 Lone Star Explosion, my name is not in this year's program. I have too much else going on. But I plan to be in attendance all three nights, and possibly involved in someone else's performance:
The last couple of evenings I have spent some time turning the artists responses to a Google form into a readable document. They answered questions pertaining to length, description, sound, video projections, publicity, set-up logistics, what sort of mess we might expect to clean up afterward, and whether the work will place artists or audience members in physical danger.
I ain't gonna lie: There will be some messes. And nudity. Cuz that's what performance art is known for, right? Messiness and nudity? Naked people hurling Jell-O or bodily fluids at the rubes who paid to see them? There will also be a piece involving an IUD, but I shan't say which performer, which evening, or what will happen with said IUD.
Experimental Action's big #shiashowup promotional campaign gets me giggling every time. A few months ago, after hearing about Shia LaBeouf's successful forays into performance art, co-curator Julia Claire Wallace got the notion to very publicly invite LaBeouf to make an appearance during this week's event. If anyone knows for certain whether the star of Holes and Transformers will drop in, they are keeping a tight lip about it.
There are no Muscle Milk enemas scheduled for any of the three nights—as far as anyone knows.
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