Performance Project “Good Fairy”

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Subject verses Content

The “Good Fairy” was dressed in a disappearing white adult costume wrapped with tool for a tutu, a glittered mask,  feathers on the hands,gold shoes,  and angle wings.  This “Good Fairy” helped direct traffic and cheered up adults and children by offering sparkled glittered stars.

As a “Good Fairy” its not an easy job.  People embraced the bizarre costume and smiled when offered glittered stars. Its the little surprises that make people happy.  It cost them nothing and they remember how it made them feel.

Traffic was hectic on 2nd street, so it was very much appreciated when stopping and directing traffic.   People were trapped in traffic and unable to break through and out of the parking lot.  Helping stop traffic and directing cars out the mess made people thankful and surprised by the bizarreness of the costume.  Perhaps the meaning behind it all is to express that the most surreal moments in life come from the unexpected and the appreciation of recognition goes a long way to brighten up someones day.  If I was not dressed up the way I was people wouldn’t of embraced me as they did.  It helps to hide behind the mask and get away with small good deeds.

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Artist Report: Joey Skaggs

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Multimedia artist Joey Skaggs has been called everything from the World’s Greatest Hoaxer to a royal pain in the ass. He’s been threatened, assaulted, summonsed, subpoenaed, arrested, deposed, dismissed, trivialized, maligned, even thanked and praised. In fact, Skaggs is America’s most notorious socio-political satirist, media activist, culture jammer, hoaxer, and dedicated proponent of independent thinking and media literacy.

What follows is a partial documentation of Joey Skaggs’ conceptual media performance work. It is not all inclusive and it is not his life story. However it is intended to illustrate Skaggs’ evolutionary process as an artist who uses the media as his medium. Hopefully it will serve as an educational tool for all media consumers.

 


Teaser for the Art of the Prank movie currently in production

 Portofess
Portofess
July 1992, New York, New York

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The Fat Squad
1986, New York, New York

And, here’s Verne posing as a client with me for my diet company The Fat Squad. He wasn’t really a client, he was one of the Fat Squad commandos who I purportedly hired to forcibly keep people on their diets. He appeared with me on Good Morning America, CNN, the BBC, Japanese, German, French, and Australian television. This hoax went viral worldwide in one week, long before there was such a thing as viral marketing.

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April Fools’ Day Parade
1986 to Present

The prank was the handiwork of Joey Skaggs, an experienced hoaxer. Skaggs had been issuing press releases advertising the nonexistent parade every April Fool’s Day since 1986.

Joey Skaggs has been calling bullshit “bullshit” for a long time. Now he has created the Universal Bullshit Detector Watch™ enabling you to call it as you see it, any time, anywhere.

Skaggs is an artist, satirist, prankster, media critic and social activist. Since the sixties, his absurd and often comical performance art has been widely reported as news to an unsuspecting and largely unquestioning public.

By always revealing his ruse and explaining his point, his mission has been to communicate his social & cultural critique as widely as possible. Now, with his Universal Bullshit Detector Watch, he wants everyone to be able to do the same thing with the push of a button!

 

 

Subject vs Content

If people can confess on Oprah, Phil and Geraldo,  Joey Skaggs figured why not confess right on Eighth Avenue in New York City.  Joey Skaggs dressed himself in a full priest uniform he had purchased from a mail order company.  His friend helped him custom design a confessional that was mounted the back of  his tricycle.

The concept to bring the confessional booth to the sinners is brilliant.  It has a comical edge to it in a way because its not something you aspect to see on the city streets but rather in the confines of the house of god.  Joey kept himself very much in character and even covered his butt with a license (cost him $36) from the American Fellowship Church.

Perhaps the point to all this is to open peoples minds and to welcome them to the reality of releasing your sins is convenient and private.  There’s no reason to make your sins public but rather trust your faith and forgive yourself privately.

Singing Cubical – Language Project

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Artist Statement: Yoko Ono

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Yoko Ono born February 18, 1933, is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, and peace activist. She is the widow and second wife of The Beatles’ John Lennon and is also known for her work in avant-garde art, music, and film-making.

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Play It By Trust
1986-1987
Medium:  Sculptures, Lacqured enamel paint over bronze and magnesium
Size:  6.5 x30 x 20 in

 

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The Doors
2011
Medium:  Installations, Installation view: Hiroshima City Museum of Contempoarty Art exhibition “The Road of Hope,”  20011. Photo by Keiichi Moto

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Painting to Hammer a Nail, 1961

Consisting of a hammer, a trough of nails and a white wood panel—entitled Painting to Hammer a Nail: “Visitors are invited to pound a nail into this painting.” By August 19, six weeks after the show opened, the artwork sat barely visible in the center of a maze of chewing- gum wrappers, business cards, fliers, plastic bags, receipts and assorted stray bits of paper that had been nailed on and around the work.

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Bed-Ins for Peace (1969)
Just five days after their wedding, Yoko Ono and John Lennon posted up in their honeymoon hotel room in protest of the Vietnam War. They called the protest a “Bed-In”. The two of them sat in the bed for a week, speaking with visiting journalists and answering phone calls from various media groups. Though the “bed-in” was intended as a mere protest, critics have been known to refer to it as performance art.

 

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Wish Tree (1996)

Yoko Ono introduced “Wish Tree,” a collaborative project between her and anyone else who chooses to participate. Participants simply write a wish on a piece of paper and tie that piece of paper to the wish tree. The exhibition has been featured in galleries all over the world, and since its original opening, Ono has collected over one million wishes.

 

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Cut Piece
1965

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 Statement : Bitch Magazine

Yoko has suffered more than most people understand. Her father was often absent; she was 12 when she fled to the mountains of Japan with part of her family, escaping the bombings in Tokyo but learning about Hiroshima and Nagasaki; she attended college in the United States in the 1950s when the Japanese were vilified; her passionate art was ridiculed as too “expressionistic”; her daughter was kidnapped by her second husband; she was ostracized by the public as the “dragon lady” for putatively breaking up the Beatles; she struggled with Lennon on drugs; she and Lennon were threatened by the CIA with his deportation; she witnessed his murder, and so on.

The result: Yoko feels alone and sometimes trusts others to “handle” her and her art for better or worse. Nonetheless, Yoko inspires me. She is a brilliant, poetic, tough role model who is forthright with herself and brings that honesty to
her art.
—Kristine Stiles, professor of art and art history, Duke University

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Idiosyncrasy

One night, I was lying down on the sofa in the studio, trying to catch a catnap. I suddenly noticed that somebody quietly covered me with a khaki army surplus coat. That was exactly what John did when we were going through a long recording session one night. The coat was that coat, except that this one was a bit new and a bit hard on my skin. I looked up, and it was Sean who was doing exactly what John did. It was really a weird moment for me. For me to say John was probably there, is so predictable. But I really wondered. – Yoko

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Subject

Yoko Ono did a performance called “Cut Piece” in 1965. In this piece, Ono sat on a stage wearing a black dress with a pair of scissors and invited viewers to participate by cutting her dress. As seen in the YouTube video, at the beginning of her piece people are very hesitant to cut her clothing, but as Ono’s performance goes on people become more daring. Near the end of her performance, participants cut more and more fabric of her dress, until it is left in tatters. One of the final male participants cuts her bra straps, almost revealing Ono’s breasts. Throughout most of the performance Ono sat still while people cut her dress, but near the end she began to move more, and then had to hold her bra up after the straps were cut, so that her breasts would not be revealed.

 

Content:
Gender is addressed directly in this piece because Ono is becoming a sexual object. She does not talk or move much throughout “Cut Piece,” causing her to become an object rather than a subject with a say about what is being done to her. “Cut Piece” is showing Ono as a female sexual object rather than subject. Ono does not say anything throughout the piece, but through her facial expressions near the end of the YouTube clip, it is evident that she became uncomfortable with how sexually aggressive people have become with her body and her clothing.

I was very intrigued by this piece of art. When I began watching the video I was not sure what to expect from the audience when they were encouraged to go up and cut part of Ono’s dress off. I thought most people would be very shy and not cut much of her dress off, which is what happened in the beginning. As the performance progressed, people became more and more sexually aggressive, particularly men. It escalated until finally her dress was in shreds, her bra was cut open, and she was mostly exposed. This is not what I had expected. I was appalled that people would be so sexually aggressive as to cut her bra straps. Sources say that one man even said “Come on, make a piece for Playboy, Richard” (Chladil). I could not believe how sexually aggressive people became. Throughout the whole piece Ono did her best to sit there without any motion or emotion. I was shocked to see how well she responded to a man cutting her bra strap, because I thought that went farther than what the original intent of “Cut Piece” was. Overall I was stunned to see how people could so easily make Ono into a sexual object. I feel that “Cut Piece” is an important piece of art because it exposes the sexual aggression in society, especially towards women.

Non-informative Flyer Project

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Posted these non-informative flyers by the information desk at the Art Building upstairs.  Curious how people would respond to them. Seems today was a quiet day even for a prime location for them to hang in.  Either way I really enjoyed this project.

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non-informative flyer project

Tristan Tzara recipe for “How to Make a Dadaist Poem” reads like a poem itself:

To make a Dadaist poem:
• Take a newspaper.
• Take a pair of scissors.
• Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem.
• Cut out the article.
• Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag.
• Shake it gently.
• Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag.
• Copy conscientiously.
• The poem will be like you.
• And here are you a writer, infinitely original and endowed with a sensibility that is charming though beyond the understanding of the vulgar.
–Tristan Tzara

To Make a Dadaist Poem

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To Make a Dadaist Poem

by Pericles Lewis

Tristan Tzara was the leader of the most influential avant-garde movement after 1914, dada, was founded in Zürich during the war, when many artists and writers (including James Joyce) were taking refuge there from combat. If the cubists had revolutionized artistic practice and the futurists had drawn a link between art and revolution, dada was a sort of revolution against the very concept of art. Dada began as a kind of performance art (itself a new concept) in which people would gather at a night-club, the Cabaret Voltaire, to look at avant-garde art, listen to classical and dance music, read poetry (some of it nonsense poetry), declaim about the end of art, and criticize the war and western civilization. Tzara, gave the following instructions on how “To make a Dadaist Poem” (1920):

Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are—an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.

The word dada, with its resonance of baby-talk, expressed their protest against art. Dada valued cacophony, dreams, drugs, and the violation of syntax as techniques for freeing the unconscious from the domination of reason and tradition. Previous art, the dadaists thought, had served civilization. Their anti-art would challenge it.