Doug Aitken’s celebration of his new book, Broken Screen, at the Schindler House/MAK Center this past Saturday — described as a ’60s-style happening in announcements for the party — was a very elegant, civilized affair .?.?. that is, until special guest performer Ariel Pink started humping and possibly maiming a mummified cutie onstage, rubbing his chocolate-smeared limbs all over her bandages. What I remember most distinctly is the smell of chocolate emanating from Pink’s body, and as far as atonal cacophonies go it was pretty damn entertaining. The performance was the kooky culmination of an event whose purpose was to bring Broken Screen’s theme — how non-linear narratives reflect the experience of artists in the 21st century — out of the academic realm and into the party realm. Definitely more eating-the-brown-acid than exploding-plastic inevitable, the performance probably wasn’t what many of the guests had in mind when they arrived at the venerable modernist institution and hoped to spot art legends like John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha (who did show up). But that was just fine with Aitken, who stood at the front of the stage grinning throughout.
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