I got my money back!

Last night I went to see a performance part of Performa 09:

Honor Among Thieves (Chapter 1: the Tower and the Star): Glenn Kaino and Ryan Majestic.

I went to this show because I was quite intrigued by the description of the performance collaboration. In fact the show was sold out! and the one after too.This is what it says:

“In a hybrid performance of art and magic, Los Angeles-based artist Glenn Kaino collaborates with renowned magician Ryan Majestic in an awe-inspiring interrogation of what is and isn’t believable: a question at the heart of both age-old traditions.”

I was totally open to any experience, any kind of performance, common! what we haven’t seen in this city?

The performance started with a  magician trick. the Magician picks someone from the audience and ask her to stand up. The magician asked the lady if she believes in telepathy powers. He continues explaining that he doesn’t any more but some times he has visions just like a déjà vu and that last night he put a card upside down inside his deck and He thought it was made to be for her. He says “name a card from the deck”, the woman chooses one: “eight of hearts”. In fact, this was the card that was upside down in his deck. Wow! pretty impressive!.

The magician repeats the trick one more time with another member of the audience and repeat the exact same words as before, and again, he gets to have the right card upside down. incredible!

The magician repeats the trick a second, a third, a four time. Still, the audience waits and claps because he keeps on having the right card upside down. Fifth time, six time, the audience begins to notice that this is it. This is the whole performance and for this we all have paid $10: Honor Among Thieves!.

About the 15th time the trick has been repeated, the audience still seems to be  doing nothing about , until a lady stands up from her chair and scream, this is hideous!  absolutely hideous!, and to my surprise it was Yvonne Rainer!. I scream back: thank you Yvonne, yeah!, She screams back yeeeeah!!! and continue walking out until she leaves the cabaret while putting her coat back on.

After this, the curtain of the stage closes and the master of ceremony announces: “thank you, this is the end of the show”. Now that I though the show was going to evolve into something interesting, some kind of situation from the audience reaction that would lead the whole performance into another level, the performers simply close the curtain and close the show after 30 minutes of doing the same hideous, yes, Yvonne! hideous  joke.

.. and I felt joked! and felt they stoled my money! off course! Honor among Thieves!. And I said to my self once I was a block away from the cabaret, “I just let someone stole my money”.

What should I do? Should I just let go and keep walking angry and frustrated or should I go back and like in the old times when people would through rotten tomatoes to the lousy performances,  go back and ask for my money back?… I could not contain myself… “I just paid for someone to laugh in my face, call themselves performance art, “conceptual art”! ? because they have had a trajectory? because the have “recognition”? should we just sit clap and accept it? and my reaction, just walk out? that’s it?. Dada is over! and it had a purpose at it’s time and to me there is simply nothing more to think about other than getting my money back so I can see the performance I could not afford because of this one.

So yes, I went back and looked for the person in charge of the box office. I got inside and asked for my money back. The man in charge argued with me and told me: “you have paid to see ‘performance art’ and when you do that there is no expectations”. I answered, “you are right, I should not have an expectation, I should just see a performance and for this one you certainly don’t need my money” and with their “Honor among Thieves”, the guy finally said that he was not going to argue with me… I thought” well… maybe this is the performance we all expected to see…”. I screamed: “give me my money back thieve!.

And I did… I got my money back…

what is art with no reaction? emptiness?

I crossed the Williamsburg bridge with my friend, stopped in the first bar I ran into, I took  the $10 out of my pocket and ordered myself the most delicious, cold beer…

Salud Glenn Kaino and Ryan Majestic!

Who ever curated this show… next time you might want to consider not charging for it…or expect the audience to get their money back…

Mariangela Lopez

Accidental Movement

09 Movement Research AIR.

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