Vera Dika

  • Talk Radio

    WHEN DOWNTOWN MEETS UPTOWN, or when performance art meets television, the theater, or the commercial cinema, the assumption is that something of the original inspiration will be lost. This, at any rate, was the attitude of the pre-’80s generations of avant-garde artists who saw Broadway and Hollywood as the antithesis of their every aspiration, and to be avoided at all costs. One of the many issues was the question of narrative: a lot of ’60s and ’70s performance—body art, Happenings, the work of a range of artists from Yvonne Rainer to Chris Burden—avoided or subverted narrative conventions

  • Film

    IN THE UPSTAIRS BEDROOM of an opulent East Coast beach house, a group of children wrap a corpse in a blanket and head out with it toward the stairs. They slide it over the steps; it thumps its way down, then crumples unceremoniously at the bottom. If this scene were played for grimness, it could be an excerpt from a horror movie. Or perhaps it could be a dark farce, of the Arsenic and Old Lace variety. And it certainly does have its elements of black humor, but tempered with another, quite different quality: a blend of objectivity and tenderness. For the sequence was scripted by Amos Poe, and