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Performance Club

Censored at P.S. 1

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We’ve been talking about the cultural differences between performance and visual art. On Saturday at P.S.1, those worlds collided with a nasty bang, when the museum apparently censored Ann Liv Young’s show at Saturday Sessions, its new performance art series.

I wasn’t there, but as best as I can piece together the museum cut power during one of Young’s typically raunchy, aggressive performances, which, according to eye-witness reports, included urine, masturbation, nudity and her calling out the previous artist, Georgia Sagri.  All of these things are to be expected when you book Young, and she’s performed in numerous New York theaters without being shut down; I have been told the museum was riled by the nudity, but have yet to get an official statement from P.S.

Check out this video of the next artist, Morty Diamond, performing in darkness. The lights come on, only to be cut again after he strips naked (yep, there’s nudity and profanity involved – who woulda thunk it??!):

The irony here is too rich. On the same day that Marina Abramović, a performance art diva, was signing books at P.S.1 for her upcoming MoMA retrospective, the museum was censoring a new generation of performance artists at a series it created to support these same artists??! What exactly were the curators expecting? Full report coming tomorrow. Stay tuned…