Purple Art

[May 19 2016]

Cally Spooner “On False Tears and Outsourcing” performance at the New Museum, New York

‘Emma,’ writes a poet, ‘buys a map of Paris / to coordinate / her ennui.’ The lines, fragmented, search back for some kind of cohesion. Cally Spooner’s performers break into a similar kind of sentences, impenetrably close while barely connected. The impossibility of communicating clearly in a relationship comes to mind, a dance we know all too well, but there’s more to it than a failure to respond or interpret or take in. That pas-de-deux is given the lightness of show-biz by being put on stage, in a glassy space like a bell jar or some sort of a brightly lit zoo enclosure: behold, modern relations, or in other words, remember emotion? Alienation, the kind that propels you out of control especially in a credit crunch, falters into positive feedback. We are meant to learn from it. But dear Madame Bovary, Spooner’s unseen hero, is anointed by a single crocodile tear stemmed from a droplet of water (from a glass) that signs a love letter handed over under a false premise, a last attempt to feign emotion before releasing its burden. I wonder how this ties into institutional politics. Or maybe we should just watch and learn, come in closer.

On view until June 19th, 2016 at the New Museum235 Bowery, New York.

Photo Sabrina Tarasoff

Subscribe to our newsletter