This wasn’t the video that I wanted to stick up for you this evening, but the video I did want to share has only got proper sound on the Gob Squad website, and I didn’t think a silent clip of people dancing on tables would really communicate the eccentricity of tonight’s performance of Kitchen, by Gob Squad.
I quite liked this clip, of them talking about performance and what it means and what attracts them to it, because it reminds me of the Radiohead video for Jigsaws Falling Into Place, except better, because you know these guys had to wander around in public with cameras strapped to them FOR THE GREATER GOOD OF THE PERFORMANCE, MAN.
Kitchen is a surreal comedy about the making of Andy Warhol’s films, Sleep and Eat and Kiss and, indeed, Kitchen. It asks questions about reality and experience and identity, by giving the audience a tour of the set prior to the show, exchanging the cast with unwitting audience members, and including scenes of cunnilingus and coffee-snorting. You watch it like a real film, except over three screens, while the live action is going on behind a wall, acted to camera. I think that they were trying to make a point about how Warhol’s original films were really important to the evolving cultural mindset of 1965. (I think…) But then it was also a blatant parody of the whole idea that pimps and drug dealers and transsexuals are somehow more interesting or glamorous than the rest of us. It was just really really bizarre. I have no idea how they convinced one audience member to act out Kiss, sitting there being tenderly embraced by a woman she’d never met before while her husband watched on from the auditorium and three other complete strangers stood in for the other cast in another part of the set and on another screen. I think that was probably part of the point actually. Something about the 1960s’ deterioration of inhibition or about the all-eyes-on-me idea of fame or something. I don’t really know.
All I know for sure is that parts of it were hilarious and parts of it were seriously uncomfortable and one woman went topless for a whole scene. I imagine Andy Warhol would have LOVED it.
Oh yeah, and if you’re interested, make sure you do click that link to the video I really wanted to show you. It’s a proper bit of the play with proper kissing and everything.
I read my horoscope on the bus this morning, and it said about not jumping to conclusions because the answer I’m looking for won’t arrive until the end of the day, at which point I snorted right into the Metro’s crappy ‘lifestyle’ pages and thought to myself “That’ll be Student Finance Direct announcing they’ve set fire to all my appeal documents then” which is a pretty good impression of someone jumping to conclusions but, you know, I’ve just about had it up to HERE.
But I didn’t come by here to whinge on about how my entire future is being shat upon by bureaucracy and incompetence, no, I wanted to make a little list of everything that is fine and dandy in my world, in an attempt to keep the black clouds from circling and perhaps even let me unclench my jaw and sleep at night.
First and foremost, Kurt Vonnegut’s American publishers, Delacorte Press, is preparing to publish a collection of 14 previously unpublished stories. It matters not that I only discovered the guy when he died, so still haven’t made massive inroads into the stuff already out there, I HEART HIM SO MUCH that I may attempt some kind of pseudo-Buddhist mind control fasting thing where instead of eating while at university, I ‘digest’ a tasty nugget of creative pragmatism from Vonnegut three times a day, and save myself a couple of grand a year.
Secondly, the new film by Werner Herzog (Yes, he does sound like a condom manufacturer, but don’t all Germans?) is being shown at the Cornerhouse from the 24th of April. I read about it in The Word this month, and again today on The Guardian website, and on both occasions my interest was triggered by the word ANTARCTICA. It’s a documentary about the place, so I suspect that there may be penguins involved.
I’m still going to Burning Man, where I can run around the Nevada desert in a tie-dyed sheet and hide from my bank account/my parents/my mobile phone signal for a whole week at the beginning of September.
I was helping to fold bits of marketing gubbins for the Manchester International Festival yesterday afternoon, and I met a guy who was a student in Leicester and said he REALLY LIKED IT. I was all like “Amazing! So it won’t feel like I’m driving off the cliff of happiness to live in some Midlands backwater?” and he was all like “Nooooo! I still miss some of the pubs in Leicester – it’s a great city!” and then I was like “And you live in Manchester now and still think that?” and then he said “No, I live in Oldham with my parents, and I’m unemployed” and I was like *bit of heart dies*. But still, he liked it there. He didn’t want to leave… (in order to live in Oldham with his parents). Hmmm… This one might not strictly qualify for the Cheer Up List.
Although I wrote quite recently about how the Booker Prize is a load of balls, I’m reading Life of Pi at the moment and it is wonderful. Don’t want it to end.
I have a bit of a theatre binge to look forward to, what with Be Near Me from the National Theatre Of Scotland at The Lowry, Gob Squad’s Kitchen at Contact, Oleanna at the Bolton Octagon (I can hear the call of a public transport adventure!) and I think I’m going to try to pick up a freebie to the new thing at the Royal Exchange tomorrow night. God bless the Free Theatre Initiative.
In July, I am going to see Blur in Hyde Park, they’ve just announced Foals are supporting, and I heard something somewhere about a version of Country House on musical saw. With Albarn, you just never know if he’s joking or not.
And finally, no matter how desperate things become, how meaningless and deprived my existence, there’s always prostitution to put food on the table. Hooray for prostitution!