Monday, February 4, 2013

Virginia Overton in "Emergency Cheesecake" at the Whitney

Virginia Overton, in "Emergency Cheesecake," organized by Wade Guyton and Jay Sanders at the Whitney Museum, New York, November 30, 2012. Video: 16 Miles [more].

The tension grew quickly during Virginia Overton's performance on November 30 in the lower-level courtyard of the Whitney Museum as part of the one-night-only "Emergency Cheesecake" event organized by Wade Guyton and Jay Sanders. She stood on a little raised stage, just a few yards from where John Knight installed Curb Appeal (1966/2012)—his mysterious hood and rain chain—along the Breuer Building's bridge during the Whitney Biennial earlier in the year. Wild country music, a wailing fiddle, played in the glassed-in space as the crowd watched. Overton plugged electrical cords into a Vlasic pickle, and presented her handiwork to the crowd. Nothing happened. She looked a little bit embarrassed, not sure what to do. Overton, a master of tough, hyper-minimal, and slyly humorous work, was turning herself into a circus clown, performing—failing to perform—for a packed house. Pretty endearing, terrifying stuff. The song reset. What were we waiting for? But then the magic arrived.