“That’s why performance art is invariably so lousy – it spits in the face of honest human reaction, all those trust fund frauds locking themselves in a bathroom and claiming it is in solidarity with actual prisoners who don’t have Guggenheim fellowships.”
So says columnist Neil Steinberg in the NY Daily News in response to a performance by a Chicago artist named Kerry Skarbakka (who just moved to Brooklyn) in which he repeatedly jumped off the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art while flailing like the jumpers on 9/11. (using a safey harness, mind you, for a four-story building). Apparently this is the latest in a series of “falling” performances that he documents, selling the photographs as art.
Here’ the Daily News article about the reaction of 9/11 families.
Selected quotes from Skarbakka make him sound self-serving, but they may be out of context. Then again, as someone who was actually there on 9/11 I have to say I find the work distasteful. (Not to mention that jumping off of buildings as performance art was already done, many years ago, but in a fun and adventurous way by the multi-talented David “The Impact Addict” Leslie.)
What do you think? Art? Outrage? Publicity stunt? Is anybody familiar enough with his work to provide context??
Also, feel free to email Neil Steinberg and tell him what you think.