By Charles Kessler
Friday night was a good time to be in Bushwick if you wanted to see a wide variety of Performance Art. At Agape Gallery I saw Variations, a performance by Elise Rasmussen. She directed two actors (Corey Tazmania and Niall Powderly) in various re-enactments of possible scenarios of the 1985 death of Ana Mendieta, the wife of the well-known minimal sculptor, Carl Andre. Andre was tried and acquitted of her murder, but the circumstances remain suspicious to a lot of people.
|Ana Mendieta and Carl Andre|
Next I went to Grace Exhibitions Space for the Performing Arts. Since 2006, Grace has been an important venue for performance artists from all over the world, and Friday night was no exception. There were performances by artists from Switzerland, Berlin, Estonia, France and, of all places, Kentucky. There was Beat Poetry by Ron Whitehead, an older poet from Kentucky; a chaotic, frankly silly, extravaganza by the Estonian group, Non Grata;
|Voluntarily Out of Focus performed by Non Grata Group from Estonia. |
(This panoramic was taken with my nifty new iPhone 5 camera — click to enlarge.)
and the Swiss artist Saskia Edens did one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long time. She carried a thin sheet of ice around to about a dozen people, and she and they would blow on it, melting enough holes so it eventually fell apart. It was an elegant, beautiful, erotic and moving experience, and one that required extraordinary endurance. Why she didn’t pass out and/or get frostbite I can’t imagine.
|Breath by Saskia Edens, Grace Exhibition Space.|
|Jersey City Studio Tour exhibition, Tenmarc Building|
|Nimbus at Tenmarc|
|Drawing Rooms — a former convent turned exhibition space in Downtown Jersey City|
|Mazz Swift and Amelia Hollander Ames playing in an historic row house in Downtown Jersey City.|
The weekend ended with a crawl of trendy bars (the new Jersey City) and at Uta Brauser’s Fish with Braids gallery (a venue more typical of the funky old Jersey City I knew and loved).