Back in April, James Franco presented another one of his famously bizarre art exhibits at MOMA PS 1 entitled “Birdshit”, which was inspired by Chekhov’s The Seagull and described as a “multi-media performance piece…under the guidance of James Franco.”
Below is a review of the performance by one of our contributors, Denise, along with a few photos:
When we arrived at MOMA PS1, they were supposed to open the dome doors at 1:50 and show was to start at 2:00, but they ran late and didn’t end up letting us in until at least 2:20 and by the time everyone got seated it was 2:30 or so. It said on the website that the show time was 2-4,but the entire show was just 30 minutes. The best part was while we were all waiting in line, Franco came out of the dome and apologized for the wait and explained that they are running a little behind due to a minor technical problem. I wasn’t the only one in line that thought that was cool!
The stage was in the round and there was a drummer and 2 guitar players set up against the wall. There were 5 dancers in white dresses on the stage and one girl in white pants. Franco was just hanging out behind a desk type set up against another wall. There were 3 large video screens set up in the corners of the dome and at various times it would either show live action of what was happening on stage or it would be pre-recorded video of Franco (who played “Trigorin”) and Marina Abramovic (who played “Arkadina).
Before it started Franco came on stage to introduce it. Then the girls danced around in white paint or paste type stuff on the stage and at times feathers would fall onto the stage. The girl in the pants would sing/shout during musical numbers and some of the actors/dancers would interact with the video screens and have dialogue with the recorded videos. At the end the main dancer has a breakdown and ran out of the dome and the other dancers hosed her off outside (while it’s being recorded and shown on the screens inside).
I did enjoy the interactive elements of it. Although that could be distracting, since you were never sure where to look and the screens were displaying different things. It was very “Franco-esque” which could be a good and bad thing in that it’s cool to watch it all happen unconventionally, but then afterwards I can’t explain what I just saw!