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PRINT January 1999

STAGE FRIGHT: CLAUDE WAMPLER

THE THIRTY-THREE-YEAR-OLD performer/artist Claude Wampler boasts a résumé that reads like something out of one of those David Lodge novels about trendy, internationally peripatetic intellectuals: domestic studies in theater, dance, and opera; immersion in butoh in Tokyo; shows at places with such edgy-cutesy names as SlimFit and Fourth World A.W.O.W. Not surprisingly, Wampler is the kind of artist critics go on about glowingly without ever managing to put their fingers on what exactly she does. Kim Levin wrote in The Village Voice that Wampler’s work is “about primal relationships.” (Right. And Jason Rhoades’s is about “stuff.”) Bruce Hainley said, in these pages a few years ago, that, “more than any other performer I can think of, Wampler explores tension: between fluidity and rigidity, lonely mania and calm, esthetics and obsession, and, perhaps most fascinatingly, between art object

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