October 26, 2005

"This wasn't just about a woman drinking a lot of beer. This was a powerful piece of art."

The Japanese artist Tomoko Takahashi drinks 48 bottles of beer then walks across a balance beam -- and has a £5,000 grant to do it.
James Tyson, the theatre's programmer, defended the performance, staged as part of the centre's Experimentica 05 season. He said: "Miss Takahashi is an internationally renowned artist. Her work constantly questions the way products are marketed and the role of mass media in society."
To be fair, there is some question about whether she actually drank all 48 bottles of beer.

14 comments:

Troy said...

What a coincidence. The federal government subsidized my beer drinking too -- while in law school.

I should say just a portion... If I'd called it "art" instead of "blowing off steam after Federal Jurisdiction" perhaps I could've gotten a bigger grant.

mrbungle2103 said...

In Britain when someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes they are said to be "taking the piss." Someone who does it habitually or for money, such as this fella, would earn the title of "piss artist."

Which seems oddly suitable here.

Dave said...

Artist?

You mean "artist."

Henry said...

I guess the sorority has to let her now.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Murph said...

After 48 beers I hope it's a REALLY wide beam.

Or a short distance to the floor.

lindsey said...

I can't wait for the DUI defense: "But, Your Honor! It was performance art!"

downtownlad said...

Nobody can survive 48 bottles of beer. Unless they weigh 500 pounds or so.

tcd said...

Why 48? Why not 99 bottles of beer?

Word verification: sewpc as in "so pc".

Pogo said...

You gotta love the tendency of performance artists to repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot. Idiotic nihilistic 'performances' like this invariably lead to subsequent ratcheting down of art funding at the federal level. (And that's already a very small amount.)

While these avant types represent only a fraction of the arts community, they are a stereotype for nonessential spending. It's almost as if they're trying to provoke their benefactors to fire them.

And a second point: Why don't we ever seem to read about the esteemed panel that read this woman's proposal and decided to pay her for it? Now that would be a good interview.

yetanotherjohn said...

I'll have to check on the balance beam thing, but I suspect that we have a wealth of undiscovered artistic talent here in Texas. No more will the east and west coast be able to sneer at the third coast. We'll be able to have a 10 or 20 to 1 advantage in artists. Yahooo

ak21 said...

She could've just drank four or five good martinis and saved herself some time.

Chrees said...

This reminds me of the WKRP episode where Johnny Fever got drunk on the air and his reflexes improved.

Any word on if she was allowed to go to the bathroom during the performance? If not, then it really would have been a powerful piece. Of something.

XWL said...

So I am applying to the NEA for a grant for the following installation.

I will build a 4 shelves (about 2 feet deep by 10 feet long) at a hallway at MOMA. Subsequently I'll have a videographer follow me as I walk around that part of Manhattan buying and hauling 99 bottles of separate brands of beer. Then returning to the shelves at MOMA I will solemnly and silently arrange the 99 bottles on the shelves and once that's done begin singing "99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer, if one of those bottles should happen to fall (at this point I would take the upper left most bottle and imbibe the contents, then smash the emptied bottle upon the floor), 98 bottles of beer on the all . . . . .(and so on)"

I figure $250,000 ought to cover the planning and expense (and medical bills), wish me luck!

(tcd you beat me to the reference, but hopefully I get points for taking the reference to absurd lengths)