I’ll get the positives out of the way. The Grace Exhibition Space is worth paying attention to: the owner is nutty and cohesive, her art world connections will last at least another two seasons before you tire of going there for the beer and the company. If you are young, you will actually see some people who are not, they are the ones you should talk to, don’t listen to what they say but pay attention to their mannerisms and learn them, this will help you later. If you are older pay attention to the single older people here because, by Nobel, they are worth it, they might talk your ear off later, but that’s when you’re naked.

Redas_Martin_Jill

Now onto our regular non-dating column menu.  Redas Dirzys and Martin Zet performed here last night. That’s pronounced: “goodyear friend” and “martini, another one”. One corner of the gallery was painted in a matrix of approval, I had thought that these guys were pastis, I mean retro-activists, until I noticed that indeed, future had made it into the picture. One spoke in professorial tones to the audience, while the other negated him on his usage of the word “absolute”. “We want to step away and try the absolute trialectical approach”, (“Not absolutely”) as a follow up of a life’s dredges lived on dialectics.

“We would like to skip away from the usual, where you are people looking at something. So, we are going to try to show you nothing.” – Martin Zet. The old Smirnoff joke, this is where performance does you.

The first act was meant to get the attention of the audience, featured three people, two of them sitting, the third standing in the center of the drawn out circle. The two sitting begin to push upward on one leg of the one who is standing until he has to topple over. I think of the small, Eastern European nations huddled together, yet forced to topple their neighbor for a fighting chance in the next twenty years. I think this is going to turn into Russian Anonymous, as the history that these artists are representing is recent. The 1976 quote undone: “socialism capitalism with a human face…” was painted at the end of the show. However, instead, Martin announces that it’s time to start our little game(s), the first one, he says, after much deliberation, is that you have to sit in the outlined squares in threes. No more and no less. The three is meant to establish an order of mathematical chaos rather than comfort, referencing Sartre’s hell and hopefully knowing of Stanislaw Lems’ writing on multi-sexual troubles.

The second game was an unordered round of football [soccer] in the middle circle. Quite frankly, I got so lost in conversation with my two partners that I didn’t know what they were trying to do until five more people joined us and it was apparently time for “bring out the flag”.

Martin distributed leaflets, we were about to sing “The International”, one of my favorite songs from American Idol. I added a crude laxative of a verse at the end: “If you are not naked, / You are a slave to me”.

Regas Martin

These guys, in my opinion, have once accepted ideas (as a direction from their well meaning teachers, Commies) in their early career only to realize twenty years later that they could have made a different decision without major repercussions. However, fear still hovered and that is what the games meant to dispel.

No one got naked, and actually, my singing even made a few people put their clothing back on. Us: Nothing, Them: A trip to NY and a bunch of attention. The synergy and play undercut the serious material: promises of humanist socialism in 1976, the desire to believe in equality, crushed a year later by a liberating force of the Soviet Army marching ahead against a crowd that makes a Berkeley hippie of the time seem conformist.

There were some paltry dichotomies, nothing was really performed in a way that you would expect: perhaps acting drunk and happy and upset and miserable that you are happy and happy that you are there do not count as performances, but they do count as introductions. Do you remember the best random bar experiences that you’ve had? The ones where all of a sudden someone is telling you the truth as you see it, because you’re in that mood? This was very like that, basically these guys want to have a good time while talking about things that are important to them: (independence of Lithuano-Iraqistan or whatever?)

I wouldn’t say that this event was performance art, it’s best described as prod-me-push-ism. Perhaps it is rather brash of me, but I believe that after a successful performance you will see a quite different me; one who is: effusing some sort of idea of loyalty, truth, those banalities that shock when seen up close. Their being here was too light.–Zabatay

 
  1. Thanks for this article!
    That was a fun night. I don’t always know what to expect but I do like Martin and Redasz and their work.
    Keep coming to Grace Space, every show is totally different, and you may even last more than 2 seasons : )
    Best,
    Jill
    Director, Grace Exhibition Space

    [Reply]

    zabatay Reply:

    @Jill / Grace Exhibition S[pace, Hey Jill, yes I think what you have there is not a short run operation. I don’t know who wrote those lines in this article. He has since than changed.

    Look up events at Grace Exhibition here http://www.grace-exhibition-space.com/, they’re pretty much all good.

    [Reply]