New York

David Cale, Smooch Music

The Kitchen

Just as performance art began to be understood by the general public as a multimedia fusion, an increasing number of performance artists seem to be choosing a completely opposite form of the genre as their preferred method of getting their points across: the comic monologue. In its simplicity, its lack of pretension, and its homemade production style, this “poor theater” cousin offers a kind of karmic balance to the complex, multisensory, and expensive-to-produce mixed-media performance. It’s no accident that many of the artists working in this reduced style have sprung from low-rent venues.

Solo turns by performance artists have been inspired by intellectual currents like semiotic and Lacanian investigations of the self, together with broad cultural trends like comedy in the popular media. This mode of performance locates its “impure” show as the direct yet deceptively hidden display of

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