Bringing back the Salon

Performance Artist

Laurel Casey

Fluxus Cabaret/First Oil Paintings

April 10th, Pratt Hill, Providence 2009

Host: Elliot Garcia, Pratt Street Townhouse, Providence RI

Pianist: Kent Hewitt

Guest Call-In: Madame

Consultant Artists: Matt Macintire, Judith Tolnick-Champa

Art Speak Bull for Grant Purposes and Ass Kissing: “I liken what I do to a life game, an adventure in absurdity, an adult fairytale in which people are engaged as much with themselves as with me. The audience decides what’s going on and what’s to be learned from the experience, if anything. Everybody is a participant. I am not sure whether my performances are art because they crucify each individual art form for the sake of the whole. They are more of a synthesis of live experience as I set up events and situations in relation to the present audience. In the case of group activities, such as painting, the act of art IS the art.” – Laurel Casey

Laurel Casey is a devotee of “FLUXUS” – an art form similar in spirit to the earlier art movement of Dada, emphasizing the concept of anti-art and taking jabs at the seriousness of art. Fluxus artists use their performances to highlight their perceived connections between everyday behavior and art. Fluxus art is often presented in “Events” or “Happenings. Laurel’s preference for Guerilla Cabaret in main stream bistros, restaurants and lounges is predicated on her belief that an audience should be “pure”- lacking instruction on how to relate to the performance. (i.e. audiences preparing to laugh at Comedy Clubs) No matter the environment, Laurel’s performances consist of a minimal instruction, opening the event to accidents and other unintended effects. Also contributing to the randomness of events is the integration of audience members into the performances, realizing Casey’s notion of the viewer completing the art work.

Marsha Tucker, New Museum of Contemporary Art


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