Friday, March 13, 2015

Interior Semiotics: Natacha Stolz

The following performance, titled Interior Semiotics, took place on March 27th, 2010 at an apartment gallery event in West Town, Chicago called FOREVER (21). Artist Natacha Stolz begins by awkwardly struggling to open a can of SpaghettiOs with a manual can opener. Finally succeeding in her task, she proceeds to pour its contents into a pot (which some believe has dirt in it), adds water, then mixes it all together with her hand while reciting some nihilistic poem about everything being shit.

It's at this point things get freaky. Stolz begins to recite the poem backwards in monosyllabic form while rubbing the contents of the pot onto her chest. She then cuts her pants at the crotch, inserts her dirty SpaghettiO covered fingers into her vagina and then either urinates or expels some dark liquid she put inside her before the show, into the empty can below. Stolz ends the performance by taking off her shirt and using it to wipe up the mess.

I'm guessing that every year, somewhere around the country, some art student performs an equally shocking yet ultimately unimportant work as they leave the fold of the alternate universe known as the university. What's different about this one is that a video of the performance was taken and shortly after shared on 4chan. Within 48 hours the video had over 200,000 views. From there it went viral after being picked up by Buzzfeed, Reddit, I am Bored and others.

Though the performance received a great many WTF reactions, many commentators also focused on ridiculing the seemingly pretentious hipster crowd gleefully applauding what they believed to be a respectful bit of performance art. Is the criticism warranted? I'll leave it for you to decide.

Know Your Meme: Interior Semiotics

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