Kaldor Public Art Projects' 13 Rooms will blow your mind
Kaldor Public Art Projects are pretty good, I guess, if you like having major contemporary art brought to Australia and being freely accessible to the public. They’re nice like that.
Keeping up their good work and cultural karma, and inarguably defending their place on the Christmas card list, they’ve announced a project for next April that is basically like the Harlem Globetrotters of performance art. And, presumably knowing that large swathes of the population react to the words ‘performance art’ much like how Charlton “It’s made from people?!!!?!!” Heston does to Soylent Green, it’s been rechristened with the fun-sounding moniker ‘live sculpture’.
“The exhibition is like a sculpture gallery where all the sculptures go home at 6pm,” is how co-curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist describes it. Obrist is Co-director of the Serpentine Gallery in London and has been credibly named the most influential person in the art world. His fellow co-curator, Klaus Biesenbach, is the Director of a little place called MoMA PS1. Art dorks, please take a moment to exhale your ZOMGs while I clarify that these guys are indeed absolute top-of-the-line art guys. (But I mean, just say their names out loud and how could you even think they would not be?)
What they are bringing to Sydney is a show called 13 Rooms, in which there are, you guessed it, 13 rooms. Each room houses a living sculpture devised by one of the 13 artists who are part of the project. And what name-in-lights (sozz, public art humour) artists they are. Good old shark in formaldehyde, diamond-encrusted human skull, designer of a tattoo for a vagina for a magazine cover Damien Hirst. Woman who had someone put a loaded gun to her head during one of her works, and whose performance re-enactment kicked off a whole huge late storyline on Sex and the City*Marina Abramović. The so incredibly eminent and amazing Joan Jonas, whose significance is such that I feel guilty about highlighting her name’s resemblance to that of a person Miley Cyrus used to date**.
This will be the third version of the show, which grows by one room housing work from a local artist at every destination it travels to. The just-announced Australian selection is, awesomely, a super-young emerging duo called Clark Beaumont, who had their first show in Sydnay as part of SafARI earlier this year. The fact that they were both born solidly in the 90s makes me feel like I am old enough to be their mum, and as such I am a very proud parent.
So the maths is: Pier 2/3, 13 rooms, 13 projects, more than 70 performers. Equals: WHY IS IT SO MANY MONTHS AWAY I WOULD LIKE FOR IT TO BE NOW PLEASE.
*Abramović’s Human Diorama is the work being referenced where Carrie attracts the attention of Aleksandr Petrovsky by laughing at it and making a comment about how “Girlfriend should run a comb through her hair, she has company,” which is kind of genius given that one of Abramović’s performances involved her brushing her hair until her scalp bled.
**But I am doing it anyway because: the internet