• Number2018
    228
    Artist and comedian Lisa Levy threw off her robe and sat naked on the porcelain throne placed in the center of Christopher Stout Gallery. During the performance, viewers were invited to sit opposite Levy on a facing toilet and interact with her in any way, other than touching her. https://www.widewalls.ch/lisa-levy-performance-art-christopher-stout-gallery/

    What actually Levy did in her performance art piece The Artist is Humbly Present? As she explained herself, she intended to mock the nothingness and worthlessness of contemporary art, to play the role of a small boy from Andersen’s tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Many found that her art piece was dumb and ridiculous. Yet, the engagement and reaction of viewers, as well as the resonance in mass media and art magazines, may cause us to think about the real performativity of Levi’s provocation. Isn’t performance art the act of transgression, attacking minds without the medium of language, directly engaging bodies, feelings, affects, and perceptions? Or, is it just the empty pretension, the naked emperor?
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