Monday, May 18, 2020

Microstory 1366: Performance Art

Art Reporter: Before we begin, I want to acknowledge that you do not generally participate in interviews. I appreciate you making an exception.
Performance Artist: Well, I was kind of obligated to do so. My publicist says we run the risk of a lawsuit if I don’t take the time to explain myself to my fans, and the general public.
Art Reporter: You have a publicist?
Performance Artist: I do, and right now she’s miming slitting her own throat to get me to stop talking about it, which is ironic, given the nature of my work.
Art Reporter: Yes, that’s an unfortunate coincidence. I’m sure it was an accident on her part.
Performance Artist: Now she’s waving her arms at me, begging me to stop talking about her.
Art Reporter: We can edit this part out.
Performance Artist: You will do absolutely no such thing, sir. The entire purpose of my art is to illustrate the lack of true truth in the world because of all this editing, filtering, hiding, and lying. And complacency. I detest complacency. We’ve all gotten so comfortable in our little bubbles, so when we see something the least bit provocative, we just can’t handle it.
Art Reporter: Is that how you would describe your art? Provocative?
Performance Artist: That’s precisely the word I would use. I’m trying to elicit a reaction from people, in order to show how easy it is to freak someone out.
Art Reporter: Okay. Would you describe your art as the least bit provocative, though?
Performance Artist: I see what you’re getting at, and that’s why I’m here. Obviously, since I am sitting with you right now, I’m totally fine. Nothing I’ve done on those streets has been real; at least not in the way you’re interpreting the meaning of the word. I don’t really slice my own neck open in front of people. It’s a prosthetic filled with fake blood. It’s all fake. But does that mean it’s not real?
Art Reporter: Yes, it does. And what exactly are you trying to say with this performance art?
Performance Artist: Well, I can’t give you all the answers. I want you to be able to come to your own conclusions about it. But the main thing I’m trying to point out how desensitized we’ve become as a species.
Art Reporter: I thought you were trying to elicit reaction, because you think people are living in bubbles. That sounds contradictory to me. Are we desensitized, or living in bubbles.
Performance Artist: Like I said, man, I’m not gonna give it all away. I just don’t want to have to stop performing my art. I’m only here to assuage some fears. Yes, that goes against my goals, but sometimes you just have to step out of character, I guess.
Art Reporter: What do you say to those who criticize your choice to involve a dog in your art?
Performance Artist: Well, I didn’t bring the dog with me today, but I assure you that he is one hundred percent okay. No animals were harmed in the making of this profound truth.
Art Reporter: After you presumably pretended to slit his throat, he collapsed on the sidewalk.
Performance Artist: [sighs] I suppose I have to break the illusion further. That was due to some incredibly well-timed sedatives. I think I executed that move quite well. I’ll ask my brother to post a video with his dog, or something, to ensure people see he’s quite alive. It’s art. Get it? I’ve already had to talk with the cops about this.
Art Reporter: Is it legal to give a dog sedatives for no medical purpose? Can we look that up? Someone find out whether that’s okay.
Performance Artist: No, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to do that. It’s totally fine.
Art Reporter: I think we’re gonna contact animal control, or someone, about it anyway. I do have a few more questions regarding throwing the knife towards the crowds after you use it. Is the knife itself real?
Performance Artist: Hey, thanks for talking to me. I think this was really productive.
Art Reporter: I do have a few more questions.
Performance Artist: That’s great, dude. You’re the real hero here.
Art Reporter: What?
Performance Artist: Let me know where I can watch this interview.
Art Reporter: This is print. Do you see any cameras here?
Performance Artist: Awesome. Catch ya later!

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