American Gothic

Saint Genet Breaks History


As a long time OTB subscriber, my reaction to Mr. Mitchell and his Paradisaical Rites performance is that while I admire his ability to get paid for what he does, I do wonder if he is on a personal downward arc that will end very badly for him and those around him. Is watching a train wreck art?
What if you are reading this right now and rolling your eyes at how forced and vapid reproducing 'Shoot' is? It's not very clever that way.
I don't think I even understand what I just read. Was that the point?
St Genet obviously rejects any traditional standards by which one might judge a performance to be good or bad art. What I can't tell is whether they have any new standards to replace them with. For example, how do they figure out whether this piece was a failure or a success? Or are they immune from criticism because they reject all possible grounds for criticism? Is that what Brendan finds clever?
Egocentric, self indulgent, attention seeking, hipster, uselessness. I suppose everyone when out afterwards to a 'self harm' party where they took pictures of their injuries with their iphones and uploaded them to tumblr and instagram.
Sorry to say that I left at intermission. The company certainly is talented and has admirable intentions. I even found the compositional elements (on their own) to be beautiful and startling. Unfortunately, there's also the pervasive stench of "why should I care?" and petulant portrayals of suffering that lose themselves in self-referential nothingness. It could also stand to be a little bit more fun for a piece that intends to be about the search for paradise.
For those who have the unregistered comments off, @4 totally nails it. And @6 captures Saint Genet's aesthetic merits and ultimate deflating hollowness.

No matter how deeply Mitchell may believe he is forging a new medium and a new framework for processing it, the fact remains that when you assemble an audience that has paid a fixed, non-negligible ticket price to sit in an established performance space and watch you, your work exists in conversation with that audience and within the history of performance works similarly offered for public consumption.

That "flour and dirt, gold leaf and leeches, exquisite choreography juxtaposed with people getting so drunk and high they fall over trying to execute it... a field of wheat on the stage, stuffed and headless pheasants whirring in circles overhead, and a mound of dirt that contained a performer, requiring him to stay buried for hours and emerge only at the end" describes without variation a Saint Genet performance in the more inherently immersive and interactive Lawrimore space more than 18 months ago confirms my suspicion that Mitchell is an artist without growth and without purpose.

To even mention him in the same breath as Chris Burden or Marina Abramović -- evolvers both, and in the case of Abramović, epiphanically eloquent about her art -- is an unwarranted flattery.
The emperor has no clothes!
You did notice the difference between the Lawrimore show and what was shown at OtB? Yes? If you saw no growth if you saw no purpose, you missed a lot. The shows 18 months ago were part of a process wherein the artist took a look at ideas, sets, physical abilities of his troupe and created a fuller, larger, more realized work based on what he saw. I myself think we have a genius on our hands. I love Ryan's work.
You should have broke the nondisclosure agreement. That would have been art.
The last time Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell found himself criticized on the pages of Slog, a mysterious "drcm" registered just in time to offer an insufferable, windbaggy, kneejerk defense of Mitchell's unimpeachable artistic process.

Which member of Saint Genet might you be, "alms"?
Parasitical Rites, anyone?
That gut would have made a better target.
However it is that one feels about this piece of work, it is never appropriate to wish someone be killed. Come on people, are you really so insulted by this work that you would rather the maker have killed himself? And what does that say about you as the witness? I wish that you could look deeper into your reaction to the work rather than your opinion of the maker.
I think @13 was just calling him fat, @14, not wishing him mortal harm.
The Second Amendment, as the rest of the Bill of Rights, is an acknowledgement of our natural born rights, not a granting. The entire Bill of Rights is about keeping the governments in their place. The Second Amendment is about the common person's right to own weapons of war so that we can keep the governments in their place by keeping the 'monopoly on force' in the hands of the people where it belongs, as in 'We the people.' Remember that? It will not be infringed any further and the 'gun laws' in existence will be repealed. End of discussion.
Guns don't kill, governments do. Gun free zones are the problem, they allow armed criminals to kill. Arm the teachers, the administrators and the parents. Don't allow the "Liberal"(commie) trash who control the so-called educational system to teach mindless pacifism that is ensconced in their arrogance of false civility.

If we have violent criminals in prison who have been convicted of a crime and can't be trusted with weapons why is the govt. turning them back out on the street? So they can point at them and say "See, the sheeple can't be trusted with guns." The 'crime' argument is a red herring.

Time to repeal all of the ‘gun laws’ including GCA ‘68 and the NFA; Shut down the evil BATF Nazis and try them for treason, and murder where appropriate and distribute their retirement funds among their victims; Then enforce the Bill of Rights on places such as Commiefornia and New Yawk and Chigawgo and if necessary bring the troops home and have them restore Liberty here and remove Amerika’s natural born traitors in the process.

Millions will dig the ditch they are told to dig then wet their pants when the machine gun bolts slam home and die stupidly wondering “How did this happen to me?” The tiny minority will have to do what will be required.
It’s time to stop arguing over the culture war. It’s time to stop hunkering down for the apocalypse. It’s time to stop waiting to get beamed up. It’s time to start thinking Normandy.
If you sit home waiting your turn you deserve to have your gun taken from your cold dead hands.
The Founders didn’t wait for the Brits to knock down their doors. They gathered at the green and stood up like men and they killed government employees all the way back to Boston.
What will you do when it’s time to hunt NWO hacks, republicrats and commies(“Liberals” and ‘progressives’)?
Don't understand? Go to willowtowndotcom and read the quotes page first. Then read my column "Prepping for Slavery."
"I had an intuitive sense that being shot is as American as apple pie..."

-Chris Burden
Just look at the comment history of d.p. and forget everything you read. THAT is true entertainment. I'd kill for your Yelp name. Thankyouverymuch.
...but... the lawrimore performance was in preparation for this larger, longer show.. it was part of the process, not a totally separate project.
so of course it shares elements... you were watching those elements being developed.

its quite common for large scale new works to have "preview" performances where they can test out ideas before completion of the full show.

in fact, some grants specifically require these additional "work in progress" performances!

(no idea if that was the case here, but it's definitely been the case on a few projects i've been involved with)

Just look at the comment history of "BrianBlood" and... oh, wait... he just registered today!

For artists who burn their penises, huff ether, and get themselves shot, the members of the Saint Genet crew seem surprising thin-skinned!
@d.p. Did you see the OTB show? If not, maybe you can critique performances you've actually seen... I'd honestly welcome that.

P.S. The pheasants weren't headless.
Uh...sounds like ridiculous performance art horseshit... but my gut says "HELL YEAH." Or maybe that's just the six glasses of vino. Genet was a proper freakshow,though. Him and Artaud.
Say what you want it takes a lot of guts to let somebody put a bullet in your arm for art and how do you know part of that is not illusion. Plus, you have got to love that picture.