My Barbarian Experience at Art Basel’s 2008 Positions

20 Dec


img_mybarbarian_07My Barbarian is a theater/performance art troupe form Los Angeles. These performers were located in one of the containers within Basel’s Art Positions on the beach and were brought by Steve Turner Contemporary. For me, their performance was a mix between a rock opera (a la Jesus Christ Superstar) and the chorus from ancient Greek Tragedy (a la Oedipus Rex). The piece was part of My Barbarian’s Hystera-Theater and it is based on a feminist interpretation of Plato’s Allegory of “The Cave” by Luce Igaray, where the cave is perceived as a womb. Having said that, the opening of the container was covered with wine red cloth that you (the observer) had to go through, to enter the container, thus entering the womb. Once inside “the womb” a video was projected at the end of the container. The performers—who wore red-wine robes and masks—sat, reclined, or laid-down on the floor on red pillows, while they chanted “You were born poor and poor you will die” and played instruments that went along with the Hystera-Theater video.

My Barbarian’s L.A. performance of “You Were Born Poor and Poor You Will Die”

My Barbarians were absolutely refreshing, because they are taking on that ancient Greek Tragedy feel and make it powerful, especially when they add dark rock guitar rifts. The song they chanted was awesome especially, given the current economic climate coupled with the irony that many of the people walking through the art containers were wealthy art collectors. I also thought they were truly dedicated— I saw them on Sunday afternoon, considering they had been performing in a container since Wednesday evening, they were doing great—especially when the temperature in those containers can reach above 80F, and maybe crowds of four or five at a time would walk in to see them perform. The basic gut reaction that I got from their performance was that it was liberating. Their masks, the costumes, the chants, the music, the film, and the real time interaction with the audience, explored all senses and was intense.

Pictures of My Barbarian’s Miami Art Basel Performance by Liz Poin




One Response to “My Barbarian Experience at Art Basel’s 2008 Positions”


  1. Happy Surprises at Art Basel Miami 2008 « Eclectic Fusion - January 21, 2009

    […] My Barbarian Experience at Art Basel’s 2008 Positions […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: