It began quietly, its performers moving in glacial unison—slow-motion athletic poses, balletic gestures—across the concrete floor of a gallery formerly known as the Lawrimore Project. There were recitations from transcripts of the Manson trials and references to the massacre at Jonestown. It ended in chaos: ash and gold leaf strewn across the floor, pools of honey, people sucking air out of balloons, the tinkle of nitrous oxide canisters hitting the floor, people spinning and talking, one performer wrapping his mouth around a large cast-resin cock while director Ryan Mitchell (his hands covered in dried blood from the leeches he'd set on his arms a few hours prior) doused him with honey. The audience sat in chairs and on the floor. Some people were aggravated and bored. Some were transfixed. If this performance had happened 30 years ago, the artists probably would've been arrested.

But this wasn't really a performance. It wasn't a rehearsal, either. It was too tense and grim to qualify as a party. There weren't tickets, only invitations and suggested donations. This thing was just a sketch by a new entity called Saint Genet, which includes dancers, performers, and designers previously affiliated with Implied Violence and the Free Sheep Foundation.

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From what I can tell by talking to its members, Saint Genet is struggling to figure out what it is—a company, a cult, or a nothing. They'll present new "aesthetic propositions" at Lawrimore Project (Friday of this week, Thursday and Friday of next week). God only knows what they're moving toward.

Or maybe the devil knows better. recommended