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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quick Thoughts on Perforations

Posted by Alison Hallett on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 5:12 PM

It's press day at Mercury HQ, so I don't have much time to write about Perforations, but in a nutshell: I didn't like it.

The program of Balkan performance art was intermittently boring, irritating, and boring again. I left before the fourth and final piece in the show, after sitting through three segments of the type of performance art that are exactly why so many of my friends refuse to go to TBA, even if I wave free passes in their faces.

Segment 1: The crowd is waiting in the the hallway when a volunteer tells us that if we're claustrophobic and/or incapable of standing for a while, we should skip the first segment of the program. We don't skip it, and so we're ushered backstage, where for the next 20 minutes we stand uncomfortably in the dark, crowded room, listening to spooky music and wishing we could see what was happening. Since what was happening was that a performer was creating an intricate yarn-web over the doorway, we weren't wishing that hard—we were trapped! In art! Art that felt a lot like a Nine Inch Nails fan's basement! So that was boring and uncomfortable.

[Unexplained interlude lasting approximately 40 minutes.]

Segment 2: Back in the main auditorium. A woman moved squares around over a light board (projected on a screen above) while pretty music played, then she rolled around on it for a while. I found this part sort of relaxing, but I also sort of wanted to leave.

Segment 3: A woman in a white dress gave a "political speech" inspired by Pussy Riot, while a slide show of stock vagina photos played in the background. This segment had some potential, except it lasted for 600 years, long enough for the vagina slide show to cycle through four times. I wrote down a lot of quotes from this, mostly alliterative pussy sloganeering, but I'm not going to transcribe any of it because it's frankly not that interesting. Basically it was yelling about how we need a vagina-based political party, and then it was some spoken word poetry that involved reciting the names of past presidents while porn sounds played.

At this point PICA volunteers tried to usher us upstairs, for the evening's fourth and presumably final segment (it was 10:15; the show started at 8:30), but we ran free into the night.

There's one more showing of Perforations tonight, if you really want to challenge yourself. Or you could just watch this clip 120 times.

Better bets tonight: Everyone seems to love Lagartijas al Sol's second show, and I'm excited to see what choreographer Keith Hennessy comes up with.

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