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

Nancy Rubins

at Gagosian,
through Sept. 13
522 W. 21st St.

“Here and Elsewhere”

at New Museum,
through Sept. 28
235 Bowery

Closing

Mel Bochner

at Jewish Museum,
through Sept. 7
1109 Fifth Ave.

Danh Vo

at Public Art Fund,
through Dec. 5
Brooklyn Bridge Park and City Hall Park

“Oil and Water: Reinterpreting Ink”

at Museum of Chinese in America,
through Sept. 14
215 Centre St.

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