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.