Friday, March 18, 2005

Dog, Action Item: DOG does not perform @ PAC/edge

Dog is perhaps my favorite performance project in Chicago right now. They have performed in the PAC/edge Fest for three years now and they are the only group I have seen so far that has seemed to consider their presence in the festival.

This year Dog presents a breezy and amusing video in the place of their normal live ensemble creations. Edited together by one member and structurally tided together with some thoughts about Aristotle, sub-title humor and the lovely ambient music that is becoming a signature for their works, the video presents a series of excuses by each of the members of Dog for their absence in this year’s festival.

It becomes a bit of a behind the scenes event revealing the collection of artists that all seem willing to engage a variety of abstract agendas to sidestep, contain and perhaps accentuate their idiosyncratic quirkiness. This kind of thing seems to be on the mind of this subset in Chicago Performance because 500 Clown (who is connected to Dog in a variety of ways) also chose to turn in a video this year rather than re-perform their fabulous and popular version of Frankenstein yet again.

It seems some of Dog have better excuses than others….

Some have art or career opportunities that are consuming, some have had rather traumatic health issues, some seem to offer hyperactivity, negligence and a self-satisfied sense of oddness.

It is a hoot and perhaps marks the end of Dog or the beginning of a metamorphosis for the group.

Like I wonder if PAC is going to turn off their artist and volunteers with their ticket policies, I wonder if PAC is going to exhaust their core group of performers before the festival gets fully established. I don’t fully understand the relationships with the groups that PAC supports but I get the sense that PAC assumes it will at some point achieve the position in the city where the are in such demand that artists will want to participate in the festival no matter what.

Though aren’t the city’s artists the core audience for the festival in the first place?

There is a special website for this show at www.DogdoesnotPerform.com.

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