I mentioned before that I was planning on attending a Day of the Dead party at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Museum of the Macabre An Art Party. It wasn’t on Halloween as this was not a Halloween event. The party was held on the official Day of the Dead with a program dedicated to the current exhibit of Guillermo del Toro Living with Monsters.
Shelley and I attended together. We took photos prior to leaving and Shelley decided to go with skull makeup and I decided to give my face a break.
Here we are goofing around trying to out-pose each other.
Museum of the Macabre An Art Party
We were a bit late (parking in Toronto is never easy!) but we still managed to catch some of the very unique and um…rather unusual explicit performance art of Kembra Pfahler known for heading the band The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. Although she is considered a feminist at the climax of the evening (literally) I was left scratching my head as to how to wrap my brain around what I’d just seen as promoting feminism. In fact I had a difficult time equating the whole performance as art. Do naked women dancing around in blue body paint with large afro wigs and big pink lips while
singing screaming equal art?
If you want to take a look for yourselves I’ve found an old video online explaining part of what she does…
*WARNING* this is Not Safe For Work and strictly 18+ viewing.
*Disclamer* If you don’t care for this type of thing please do not view the video. You’ve had fair warning. I take no responsibility for offending anyone.
After the show butt prints were being handed out. As in, Kembra bends all the way over, slathers blue paint everywhere, all up in there, while everyone is watching and then sits on a piece of paper. Can that be called art?
In the end I figured that the fact that it made me think was indeed what all art endeavours to do so in that sense I suppose it was a success. Here is a photo that doesn’t do the performance justice but it was all I could get from where we stood. And yes, she performed the whole thing nude, painted blue. She is the one on the left.
We also attended a live talk with Ladyfag, a party producer (what a wild occupation!) who appeared semi nude and wearing very tall stripper boots in glorious red patent leather. She used her hair as partial coverage à la Lady Godiva but I can assure you she was topless wearing very small short-shorts.
Both Shelley and I found it difficult to look her in the face when her boobs kept moving and she kept adjusting her hair. It was like a car accident, you don’t want to look but you feel compelled.
I was sad when I realized we had missed the performance piece of Charlie le Mindu.
The world he creates with hair and the human body is truly from another universe. Here is one of his performance pieces back when he worked in high fashion. *WARNING* there is some nudity but it is is very tastefully done.
There were interactive exhibits where we were able to leave our wishes for the future dead with an old manual typewriter.
This was the alter where you left your messages and you can see some of the messages people typed on the tray.
There were also the Holy Mountain videos by Mexican visual artist, filmmaker, writer and activist Leo Herrera which I would describe as nightmarish.
Using the art gallery as a base for a party is a fantastic idea.
You can wander through the galleries and feel surrounded by history and art all the while dance music is playing and people are mingling.
The AGO also opens up their vaults and share pieces they don’t normally exhibit.
This evening it was artists who designed many of the record album covers from the late 60s and early 70s. I took a photo of this poster that was meant for a concert for the Doors that was cancelled. Jim Morrison was arrested for indecent exposure and accused of trying to incite a riot in Miami and many of the subsequent concert dates were cancelled so this poster was never used.
It was an interesting eye opening evening out on the town that combined art, music and people in a fantastic environment. It pushed some of my personal boundaries and forced me to grow in unexpected ways.
I will be keeping my eye peeled for upcoming events at the AGO to attend in the future.
Do you have any personal restrictions on what you consider to be art?
Linking up with the wonderful Patti over at Visible Monday.