NEW NEW YORK, 28 July — Sometimes a time, a place, and a sensibility can simply be defining. You have to pity the poor generation that grew up in the 70’s and has now spent the majority of their adult lives apologizing for the music of their time, even as their older siblings who grew up in the 60’s smugly note how powerfully so much of their music has endured. So it was for the young dramaturge Kathleen Cool who grew up dreaming of legendary performance artists like Charlotte Moorman and Yoko Ono.
As history tells it, it was Moorman who inspired the 5-year-old Cool to first learn the cello. And it was Moorman who again inspired her when it came time for her kindergarten cello recital. Cool’s vision then was to reperform Moorman’s mythic 1969 work TV Bra for Living Sculpture. The piece originally sent Moorman to jail, and now a couple of decades later, the adult Cool reflects that her kindergarten intention to perform naked would have probably also sent her mother to jail.
Fortunately for all a kindergarten compromise was reached and instead of performing naked, Cool wore a highlighter-yellow leotard, shaved her head with dog clippers, and in her kindergarten classroom she played the cello a la Moorman and screamed a la Ono. Remarkable, and baffling for her kindergarten teacher and classmates, as this first performance was, Cool’s dream of reperforming TV Bra for Living Sculpture never died. It’s a dream she’s carried into adult life.
A month ago she approached artistic director Vaneeesa Blaylock about finally realizing the piece and in a serendipitous moment reminiscent of Nam June Paik calling Charlotte Moorman just an hour after she met with Karlheinz Stockhausen in New York, as Cool and Blaylock were discussing the project in the loft office at Gallery Xue in New New York, infamous pirate radio producer Ze Moo brought in his incredible discovery, the just arrived Brazilian vocalist Anndy Believe. Believe’s raw, primal power and gifted musical intuition blew everyone away and at last, a generation after Cool’s childhood dream, which was itself a generation after Moorman’s original performance, at last the vision for VB40 – Charlotte, Forever! was complete.
VB40 – Charlotte, Forever!
Gallery Xue / NYC
28 July 2012
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