Anya Liftig To Premiere “I’m a Groucho Marxist” in Atlanta
The title of Anya Liftig’s upcoming public performance in Atlanta, I’m a Groucho Marxist, is a nod to the Situationist slogan painted on the walls of the Sorbonne during its May 1968 occupation. Reclamation of urban space figured centrally in the agenda of the Situationist International, encapsulated in its tactics of derive and detournement, both of which aimed to defamiliarize the heavily regulated experience of navigating a city.
It takes only a moderate leap of the imagination to map SI theorist Guy Debord’s description of post-industrial society as “an immense accumulation of spectacles” onto Liftig’s body of work. Spectacular strategies in her projects range from appearing at MoMA as a Marina Abramovic doppelganger (The Anxiety of Influence), to devouring and fondling chocolate infants on the Highline to the horror of passersby (Adoring Appetite), to canoodling with, then consuming, a 20 lb raw fish (The Human Factor). As with these previous works, it’s unclear from the description the extent to which the upcoming piece engages with spectacle in a critical or reduplicative mode.
From the press release:
Drawing from the history of literal and socially imposed barriers in Atlanta’s past, I’m a Groucho Marxist will feature a barricade made of reclaimed materials. Liftig will attempt to cross the structure while blindfolded and partially bound. As with most of Liftig’s work, the built-in physical hardship is integral to the project, and this work in particular addresses the difficulty in crossing boundaries.
The press release omits—the artist told Culturebot—the fact that the barricade will be coated in peanut butter and she will be licking her way through it.
If you are in Atlanta on July 7th, consider an excursion to Airline Street to see whether Groucho Marxists can break bricks.
“I’m a Groucho Marxist” will be staged on Saturday, July 7th from 8:30 until 11:30 pm on Airline Street just below the Edgewood Avenue overpass. The piece is presented by Flux Projects.