Float Like a Basquiat, Sting Like Vermeer
Fri Sept 16
Vicious Pioneer Square
A note on a door reports that tonight's party, the third event in the five-week performance-art cycle Greasy Demon Heat, has been canceled. "However," the note goes on, "Boxing will commence promptly at midnight in the alley." There are 30 people behind the building, sipping from 40s and discussing anything but the urine stench. A ring gets roped off, and an announcer incites the crowd as the boxers approach. Just as the fight is about to begin, a police car arrives, but the announcer speaks calmly with the officer, who then leaves—mind-bogglingly, the match has been okayed by the SPD.
From the first bell, it's clear that this is a real fight: Some of the punches, even with the gloves and mouthpieces, sting to watch, though it's also clear from their ectomorphic frames and flailing swings that these are two artists fighting. From the loft above, various plagues are rained onto the alley: trashcans full of water, shredded paper, feathers, marshmallows, gallons of fake blood, powerballs, and glitter.
After a while, we enter the loft for wine and dancing to the Jackson 5, but for a second in the seventh round, something happens. Everybody starts drunkenly screaming for blood and the boxers get empty animal eyes. We're standing, soaked, in the alley, begging for two people to gravely injure each other for our amusement—and that's exactly where the performance died and a different sort of art kicked in.
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