This is lentil. This is rice.


From the latest Mohr Stories. Comedians talking about performance art, like a little side note from My Dinner With Andre. If it had been lunch, maybe. Couldn’t I do this at home?

Jay Mohr: Didn’t you play Marina Abramovic?

Beth Lapidas: Yes. I started my career as a performance artist, and I left performance art because I wanted to be funny.

Jay Mohr: It’s a fine line between performance art and this person’s really wasting my time.

BL: Uh, well a lot of performance art is that.

JM: Cause I’ve been to a bunch. Marina Abramovic, whom you played a version of on Sex in the City, now owns a farm in upstate New York. I’m going.

BL: Yes she’s building this institute. She wants to get out of ego, but she’s still calling it the Marina Abramovic Institute.

JM: We all want “look at me.”

BL: Look at me. Don’t look at me. Look at me. Don’t look at me.

JM: And you need to look at me more when you aren’t looking at me. There was a huge article, I think it was in Vogue.

BL:There was an article in the New York Times a couple weeks ago.

JM: I read both. She’s got a farm in Hudson, New York. It’s like hundreds of acres. You spend a little money. Not crazy money. You go up there and make a six hour commitment and you get a bag of rice mixed with lentils and you have to separate the rice from the lentils and you have to count them. At some point you go from what the fuck am I doing here to complete transcendental bliss.

BL:A meditative state.

JM: It’s forty one, forty two, these are the lentils and these are the rice. And you go for a walk.

BL: And there’s a place for taking a nap.

JM: We’re in, by the way. We punched our ticket.

Afterthought from your faithful blogger: who says performance art, and art in general, shouldn’t be funny, or at least amusing? Why couldn’t Jay’s guest have stuck with it and simply made her art exactly what she wanted to say? Why did she have to “go into comedy?” If you want the hard truth about human nature, you can’t do much better than Louis C.K.. One of his sets shows me as much about human life as a good short story. C.K.’s work is closer to the reality of human experience than a lot of what passes for high art.  He says things most people wouldn’t dare say. I could name a dozen other comedians who do the same. Starting with Kinneson. It’s partly why I listen to them when I paint. When I think of the Dalai Lama I don’t think much about anything he’s said. I remember his quiet laughter as he’s saying a large part of it. On that note, from last night’s Community, a little rap from a man in a PayDay peanut bar suit: Another Day Another Dollar:

Well, I’m a peanut bar, and I’m here to say
Your checks will arrive on another day!
Another day, another dime, another rhyme, another dollar,
Another stuffed shirt with another white collar,
Criminals, Wall Street, taking the pie,
And all the black man gets is a plate of white lies,
Prisons be recruitin’ ’em, and police be shootin’ ’em,
Them rap artists lootin’ ’em, them labels all deludin’ ’em,
And Barack Obama is scared of me,
‘Cause I don’t swallow knowledge and I spit it for free . . .

One of the funniest moments I’ve ever seen on that show. Starts around 1:20 here.

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