Performance shots from Saturday’s Brooklyn is Burning performances at P.S. 1. (Photos by Peter Cramer) Via: Gothamist.
As one of the curators of BiB, I would like to take this opportunity to express my opinion about the event at PS1. Despite the fact that BiB is a collaborative project, my fellow curator Andres Bedoya and I have respectfully diverging opinions that have not necessarily been fully reflected in any of the statements posted thusfar.
While I do not claim to know the reason the museum turned the lights off, I can say that the perceived animosity and escalating verbal and gestural attacks in the room from one artist to another were absolutely antithetical to my understanding of what BiB represents. The situation ultimately compromised the participation of the other artists involved, causing the last artist to perform in the dark. Despite the unforeseen and unfortunate outcome, I remain committed to a completely open format for expression. I think the framework (content and context) for any ensuing discussions should take into account the complexities of experiencing a live performance within an institution, instead of jumping to the conclusion that the impetus for removing power during the event originated in an attempt at censoring the performers. A claim of censorship could easily develop into a self-serving mythology with its own inertia, which could then quickly become detached from the event itself. I think we need to be very clear that no one was asked to leave and all of the planned performances occurred during the course of the event.
From a curatorial point of view, a broad range of performances is vital to the program, but the underlying message always stays the same—BiB is forging a community that respects and celebrates diversity in all its complexities. Anybody who has ever attended a BiB event can attest to the fact that we try to create a positive environment in which to present work that can be challenging and, at times, difficult to digest.
AFC commenter Gina, attended the performance and took away another point.
Both performances were good, but the best performance was the collision of the two and the interruption by the museum. I've never seen real anger displayed like that in an art context. On a reality show? Yes. But not in a museum.
Gina also offers more performance details.