Naked, Not Afraid at the Armory Show
During the VIP preview of the Armory Show, Italian performance artist Romina de Novellis locked herself naked in a cage with 500 white roses. Throughout the day, she slowly picked up the blooms one by one and secured them to the structure, eventually concealing herself from the curious gaze of guests. It’s unclear if she took a break for lunch or bathroom visits.
“American Reflexxx” at Spring/Break
In a video that left New York’s art critic Jerry Saltz in a tizzy, performance artist Signe Pierce and director Alli Coates left a lasting impression at Spring/Break with their 14-minute documentary of what happened when Pierce wandered the crowded streets of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina in a short, skin-tight dress and face-obscuring silver mask. She’s soon attacked with shockingly open insults and comments on her gender, which eventually escalate to the crowd following, spraying, kicking, and slamming her to the ground, sending her neon heels flying. Pierce and Coates had agreed beforehand not to interact for the hour-long experiment, and its unforeseen outcome, paired with Pierce’s utter vulnerability, make for a jarring portrait of the real threats of violence facing women and non-gender-conforming people in America.
Photo courtesy of @jerrysaltz.
Myla Dalbesio’s “You Can Call Me Baby”
“American Reflexxx” was just one part of a standout exhibition at Spring/Break from Myla Dalbesio, the model/artist who curated the show. With works like explicit, intricately woven tapestries from Erin M. Riley; poignant, prettily presented poems by Nicole Reber; and a surreal bedroom installation by Maggie Dunlap, “You Can Call Me Baby” was a clear home run. Tied together by a theme of female vulnerability, the show had a cogent, powerful thesis – something that was sadly a rarity among the week’s seemingly endless shows.
“The Bloody Chamber” (2016) by Maggie Dunlap. Photo by Katie Thompson.