Art In America

Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance,

at Whitney Museum of American Art,
745 Madison Ave.

In a performance by Squat Theater, an Andy Warhol impersonator interviews a zaftig naked woman: "How did you become a witch? Do you believe in God?" Laurie Anderson plays violin on the streets of New York with her feet frozen in blocks of ice; when the ice melts, the performance ends. Theodora Skipitares wraps her head in aluminum foil as a voiceover counsels listeners on how to deal with the holiday blues. Michael Smith, in character as "Baby Ikki," wears a diaper and baby's bonnet and disrupts New York traffic. These are just some of the pleasures of a show that plumbs a decade when artistic ferment combined with urban decline to foster a lively downtown performance art scene. Budget some time for this exhibition, which includes extensive video and photo documentation.

 

More from the Lookout

Closing

Tauba Auerbach

at Paula Cooper,
through Feb. 13
534 West 24th Street

Closing

Ry Rocklen

at Feuer/Mesler,
through Feb. 13
319 Grand Street

Closing

“Language of the Birds: Occult in Art

at 80WSE Gallery,
through Feb. 13
80 Washington Square East

Stewart Uoo

at 47 Canal,
through Feb. 14
291 Grand Street

“Flatlands”

at Whitney Museum ,
through Apr. 17
99 Gansevoort Street

“Looking Back: The 10th White Columns Annual”

at White Columns,
through Feb. 20
320 West 13th Street

Judith Bernstein

at Mary Boone ,
through Feb. 27
541 West 24th Street

Lisa Oppenheim

at Tanya Bonakdar,
through Feb. 20
521 West 21st Street

“Social Ecologies”

at Gallery at Industry City,
through Feb. 21
254 36th Street, Brooklyn

Zhang Hongtu

at Queens Museum,
through Feb. 28
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Submit your e-mail to receive insider information from the art world every week.