new-york

Fiona Templeton, You: The City

Everyday urban life considered as an art form has been a Modernist trope since Baudelaire first defined its tenets. Paris Spleen, the poet’s collection of odes to the romance of urban spectacle, crystallizes around a meditation on the city street, to Baudelaire the primary setting for the playing out of modern life’s rituals. Over 100 years later, performance artist Fiona Templeton and company sent theatergoers streetwalking down avenues that would have been paradise to the proto slummer Baudelaire: the seedy area of midtown Manhattan just west of Times Square. But YOU: The City cruised for meanings in ways that the poet, ever alert for voyeuristic correspondences, wouldn’t have recognized as art. Here, the spectator was put into the performer’s seat; the event unfolded in a two-hour series of 14 scripted one-on-one episodes, as the spectator was led to various encounters with performers

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