My single favorite moment of the TBA last year was Mike Daisey's unrehearsed performance at the Works, wherein the sweaty monologist launched an absolutely scathing attack on the passivity of contemporary art audiences. "If you don't like something, leave," he said at one point. "Do something! Put your dick on the table, make a little cut, and see what comes out. It might be blood. It might be ghosts!"
Daisey is an unabashed polemicist who went so far as to endorse the notion of "absolute truth" at one of PICA's noontime chats (if you've hung out much in contemporary art crowds, you know how not done that is). You might not agree with everything Daisey says, but he doesn't bullshit around. He's also an incredibly talented monologist, as anyone who saw Monopoly can attest. PICA just announced that he'll be back in town next month for a workshop production of his new show, The Last Cargo Cult:
Groundbreaking monologist Mike Daisey tells the true-life story of his time on a remote South Pacific island whose inhabitants worship America at the base of a constantly erupting volcano. In this riveting tale, Daisey explores their religion alongside our own to form a sharp and searing examination of the international financial crisis. Daisey wrestles with the largest questions of what the collapse means, and what it says about our deepest values. Part adventure story and part memoir, he uses each culture to illuminate the other to find, between the seemingly primitive and the achingly modern, a human answer.
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