The Unbearable Banishment: Pretty yellow dressess strolling in Manhattan

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pretty yellow dressess strolling in Manhattan

The outdoor art installation season is upon us. The sculpture garden on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the Big Fish, but you can catch performances and exhibits all throughout the city from now through September.

Kate Gilmore's performance art piece, Walk the Walk, just opened in Bryan Park. It runs for five days during office hours. In it, seven women in bright yellow dresses (when it's chilly, they don pink sweaters) pace back and forth along the top of a 10-by-10-foot plywood box. It's suppose to represent a microcosm of the nearby busy midtown intersections. I think. I'm never exactly sure what the deeper meaning is. I just go along for the ride.

The girls randomly stomp their feet and if you step inside the cube, it sounds like a stampeding herd of buffalo. I don't know if you can consider this choreographed, since the girls are walking randomly. Sometimes, they collide into one another and their energy ebbs and flows.

Does it work? Yeah, I suppose so. It was fun but I got a bit exhausted just watching them for :15 minutes. There's no real beginning or end. They were pacing when I got there and still pacing when I left. They're probably pacing as you read this. (I love that I happened to catch a police siren in this second clip. The soundtrack of my city.)



Blogger Pat said...

They're not wearing flatties either.

May 14, 2010 at 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

exactly how it feels at work some days. without the pretty yellow dresses.

May 14, 2010 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Everyday Goddess said...

You can't know how freeing your statement about the deeper meaning is to me.

I have struggled to find meaning, and now I can just say, meh, I'm not sure, I'll just look at it and not decide.

Thank you. Thank you.

May 14, 2010 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

the cynic in me wonders if those women are getting paid in cash or is it just the honor of being part of a performance piece. i am a philistine these days, i know. xoxoxox

May 14, 2010 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pat: Flatties wouldn't have made the big stomping sound they were after.

Daisy: That's exactly what it feels like to walk through the Times Square subway station. In case you've ever wondered.

EG: I didn't start to really enjoy art until I abandoned the whole "deeper meaning" shtick. I look at art on a very base level and if that makes me a base individual, so bit it. I'm happier this way.

Savannah: I've wondered that myself and couldn't find anything in the articles about whether or not the girls got a stipend. If I'm nearby before it closes, I'll just go up to one of them and ask.

May 14, 2010 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Some of the stranges things fall into the category of art.

May 14, 2010 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

Performance art can be an odd thing.

May 14, 2010 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

And a lot of odd things can be performance art. I like this. :¬)

May 14, 2010 at 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Huh. My first thought is that some people will do anything for a buck. Do those gals really think they're performance artists? I mean, there's no skill involved there.

It's weird. Why does our society admire unusual and useless stuff like that? In the guise of "art"?

May 14, 2010 at 11:12 PM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

I want a yellow dress

May 15, 2010 at 4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They must be exhausted!

May 15, 2010 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger tulpen said...

yeah. i could watch that for about 3 seconds before it annoyed the bejeesus out of me.

May 15, 2010 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Eva: That's true! Sometimes, "art" can go horribly wrong.

SAW: It can be pretty great, too. I've seen some very effective performance art.

Map: I liked it too, but the luster wore off pretty quick.

Rob: I don't think it has anything to do with skill. I think it's more the conception and execution.

Nurse: I'd like to see you in a yellow dress. Wink.

Rose: I was there for a while and you could actually see them start to slow down their pace. It WAS exhausting!

Tulpen: Annoying? Perhaps. But I'm glad they attempt this stuff. Nice avatar, by the way.

May 15, 2010 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger kyknoord said...

Imagine how popular it would be if the roof of the box was made of transparent polycarb?

May 15, 2010 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Keely said...

Ah, art with a capital A. My favorite.

Once when I was at the Banff Centre for the Arts, some of the artists put on a performance piece in the pool with pretty colored lights and ethereal music. It was Art, but I have no friggin' idea what it meant.

May 15, 2010 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Lulu LaBonne said...

Great that this stuff is on the streets, this piece looks good.

May 16, 2010 at 4:24 AM  
Blogger RubyTwoShoes said...

"I'm never exactly sure what the deeper meaning is. I just go along for the ride"
- me too! except for the times that such mysteries completely give me the shits, like a 5min video loop of a twig on the ground or something...

May 16, 2010 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But why YELLOW?

May 16, 2010 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

kykn: You *always* leave the most clever comment. If they constructed the cube per your suggestion, you would have red about it in your local paper.

Keely: But did you like it? That's the $10,000 question.

Lulu: I may not always appreciate it, but I'm always glad I bump into it. As always, A+ for effort.

Ruby: I give the artist a lot of leeway but, like you, I have my limits.

Dolce: I LOVE the shade of yellow they chose! Don't you? Perhaps it's a good contrast for the background? I dunno.

May 16, 2010 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Sid said...

Oh gosh. Imagine spending years and thousands of dollars studying dancing only to end up walking around in a yellow dress atop a box.

May 17, 2010 at 4:49 AM  

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