Art In America

Rachel Mason

at Envoy Enterprises,

87 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002 

Rachel Mason knows how to dress for an event. Costumed for the epic video Filibuster in the harlequin suit and carnival face paint of her alter-ego FutureClown, Mason lip-synchs Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s March filibuster—all 13 hours of it. #StandwithRand, as Paul branded his gesture on Twitter, was an attempt to block the nomination of John O. Brennan for CIA chief. But the larger target was drone policy, and specifically Obama’s theoretical power to kill Americans on American soil. Taking a cue from the mise-en-scene of Bruce Nauman’s Clown Torture (1987), Mason offers a brilliant study of political theater. Her character is a pure performer; nothing that comes out of FutureClown’s mouth can be confused with authentic sentiment. Re-staged in this way, the filibuster’s weird rhetoric—Mason has compared it to a Gertrude Stein novel—comes into sharp focus, as soaring proclamations meld with petty political sneers, and paeans to human right

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