Tell it like it is: fashion and teddy bear murder
Thursday, I was at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) for a performance art fashion show featuring Dean Horn, Lydia K and Boutique Le Trou. The crowd is a mixed bag of people, parents, friends and art lovers. I thought I had an idea of what was in store for me, artistic interpretation of a theme with clothing playing a large part of the presentation of the message. I was partly correct.
DJ Buck 65 provided the music for the night. Boutique le Trou's presentation was the marriage of fashion and art. Models sauntered on the catwalk executing a choreographed routine. It wouldn't be a wedding without a bride and groom. The groom wore a tuxedo jacket with tails and the bride had a massive hoop skirt on. I call Lydia K's presentation the Eleven Maypole dance. The models danced around a human maypole instead of a wood one. They reminded me of elves because the hats they were wearing. Lydia's hats are fantastic. Dean Horn's presentation was a modern dance piece. I called this piece after the bloodbath. I loved the choreography. The dancers performed similar moves in a line one after the other.
A performance called Trouble in Smurfland was wedged between Lydia K and Dean Horn. A plastic sheet covered the runway. I was puzzled, will there be paint involved? Maybe they will do something similar to a show Alexander McQueen put on, minus the rotating platform and robots. I threw that theory out the window as soon as I saw the man dressed as a baby with the video camera.
He set the camera down at the end of the runway and pointed it to the plastic sheet. I'm very confused at this point. He disappears for a moment and returns with a large Tony the tiger bear and a bag of other stuffed animals. He disappears again and returns with more stuffed animals and another bag. He dumps the animals on the plastic sheet and starts to roll among them. At this point, I'm thinking it some weird baby-fetish-porn presentation. He's making out and dry humping these teddies.
This goes on for what seems forever, then the music changes and Bad to the Bone starts playing. He stands up and removes all his clothing. Surprisingly, I'm not laughing at this point, I don't know what to make of it. From one of the bags, he pulls out this makeshift coat of the skins of stuffed animal carcasses. It's bizarre and takes a sadistic turn. Knives appear and this guy goes to town on the stuffed animals. Knives are flying all over the place and these toys are taking a beating. At this point, those with a sick sense of humour start laughing. I'm one of those people. It gets better when we notice that there are sacks of fake blood in the stuffed animals and it's splattering all over the place. Blood and stuffing are hitting the third row. He raises the battered body of Tony the tiger over his head and the fake blood rains down on him.
It was one of the most disturbing and funny things I've seen in a while. I wasn't sure of the point of the presentation at the time. After sleeping on it, I posed some theories. Perhaps, it's a commentary on the fur industry and the treatment of animals. I assumed this from the makeshift coat made from the skins of stuffed animals. Maybe he wanted to live out his serial killer fantasies on stage. Your guess is as good as mine.
Until November 12, 2006, you can see the photos of Steven Meisel at the gallery. The installation is the fashion editorial photos from the July 2005 issue of Italian Vogue entitled Makeover Madness. It's always nice to see the work in real life. Steven Meisel is one of the most successful fashion photographers in the world and does amazing work. His photos are never traditional and never boring. Recently, his State of Emergency editorial had everyone talking.
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