Friday, January 06, 2006

The cat show I saw @ Green Lantern Gallery

Contemporary performance is like trying to herd cats.

The Green Lantern Gallery playfully invited Samantha Martin to present a cat circus during an opening of Vivian Hass' parade inspired paintings on Friday.

A cat circus as in cats walking tight ropes, playing musical instruments, leaping through hoops and the like. There was another show that hovered around the cats' performances though, a show of frustration, bribery, excuses, and cutesy voices performed by Samantha and her young assistant that, in this art context, stood out perhaps more than it would in a more native theatrical setting and took this admittedly cute spectacle of feline disinterest and made the whole thing really engaging.

Tell me, is the following performance art or a cat circus?

1) Campy pop gimmicks that might include a rock band.

2) Attempting something impossible, mostly failing and being applauded for the effort.

3) Lots of props, which are not used as they were originally intended.

4) Hip young audience.

5) Performing for no pay.

6) Part of your audience's allergies are acting up.

7) Noticing to the audience, posing, going back to the task, noticing the audience, posing, and going back to the task.

8) Snacks/treats

Trouble telling them apart? Funny cause I got so caught up in this cat show that I was late and shut out by the throng of people at the opening of Justin Cooper's performance, sculpture and photo show at Monique Meloche Gallery later in the night...but even through the window I could see that at least half items on the list above were in action in Justin's performance...or should I say Justin's cat circus???

Justin Cooper, by the way, will be performing for the next few Saturdays. I plan to go back and get in the room this time. I will see if my comparison holds up to closer scrutiny.



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