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

Florine Stettheimer

at the Jewish Museum,
through Sept. 24
1109 5th Avenue

Closing

“Body, Self, Society: Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s”

at the Walther Collection Project Space,
through Aug. 19
526 West 26th Street, Suite 718

Henri Cartier-Bresson

at the Rubin Museum of Art,
through Sept. 4
150 West 17th Street

“Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center”

at the Isamu Noguchi Museum,
through Jan. 7
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City

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