photo: Zierle & Carter
The upcoming Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival is the Lollapalooza of performance art.
Organized by Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Rapid Pulse is a buffet of emotional provocation. If the movies feel a little too safe, and the dive bar too bland, then the remedy might just be watching someone get crucified in a gallery. Or witnessing a woman churn butter (with her legs, of course).
Over ten days, from June 1 to June 10, 35 performers from around the world will shock and delight audiences in 4 venues across Noble Square. Of the 35 performances, which will surely include genderflips, sex with food, and live crying, here are the ones you must see:
You may recall Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal from his “Shoot an Iraqi” performance in Chicago from 2008. He returns with a social media performance that exhumes internet cult heroes from “a graveyard for memes.” For “Technoviking,” Bilal brings the head of the Technoviking (remember the muscled raver?) to Chicago, as a giant inflatable. The head, linked to its own Twitter account, will fill with air as it receives live tweets. Saturday, June 1 at 4 p.m., in a live public performance. rapidpulse.org/project/wafaa-bilal
In her performance titled “They Said It Was Dry,” the Berlin-based artist takes a sleeping pill and lies down in a bed in the middle of the gallery. Her sleep lasts 8 hours, during which visitors can view her. A “light water mist” falls from the ceiling, collecting on the artist’s body. Sunday, June 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Defibrillator, 1136 North Milwaukee. rapidpulse.org/project/elana-katz
From Turkey, Sükran Moral performs “The Lynching of an Artist,” in which the artist will attempt to play a piano. She won't be able to, however, because her wrists and ankles will be tied up in bondage by a “person that looks like a killer.” The audience will be permitted to spit on the artist. Monday, June 3 at 7pm. Defibrillator, 1136 North Milwaukee. rapidpulse.org/project/sukran-moral
Noted for his Guinness Book World Record (breaking the most eggs on his head), BEVERLY FRE$H from Detroit performs “Mr Midwest,” a mix of comedy, hip-hop, and public humiliation. His music is fresh indeed: rapidpulse.org/project/beverly-fresh
Zierle & Carter
Burnt toast as metaphor? Definitely. From the UK, Zierle & Carter’s performance “At the Edge of Longing: Charred Territories” (pictured above) intends to disrupt your expectations. Friday, June 7 at 4pm. Electrodes at Defibrillator, 1136 North Milwaukee. rapidpulse.org/project/zierle-and-carter
All performances are $10 requested donation. More info at rapidpulse.org