N’a pas un gramme de charisme.

with Amelia Saul2013 The Kitchen: Center for Video, Music, Dance, Performance, Film and Literature

The performance began before it had begun.  The audience was recruited one-by-one.Wampler has consistently used audience plants in her work, in some cases filling a venue with up to a half of planted performers.  The plants guide the audience’s response to the performance, inciting disgust, hysteria, excitement… Even though completely manufactured, the audience leaves the exhibition space feeling as if they’ve taken part in a unique, spontaneous group experience.  For N’a pas un gramme de charisme., in lieu of using plants, information was leaked, in the form of videos, sound and images, for several months leading up to the performance.  This ‘educated’ the selected audience, informing their time in the seats so that, instead of seeing something for the first time, they were responding to shared references and memories; not an experience of surprise or shock of the new, but rather a manipulation of the known.  N’a pas un gramme de charisme. utilized theatrical elements - original musical compositions, choreography, Kinects video technology,  sculpture and light - to stage a culmination of ideas expressing the complicated history of Performance Art and it’s current tragic state, the impossibility of avoiding one’s own personal influences and the difficulty of just getting shit done. The work was more than just a presentation of these ideas. It was, and continues to be, a feedback loop between the audience’s unrealistic expectation and a real spectacle, juxtaposing what was actually performed with the ‘education’ of the audience and how that influenced consumption of the work. The Audience of the Performing Arts is often treated as a transient, objective and non-influential body that, though essential to the production of the “live”, is considered an anonymous singular entity. How could it change a work, it’s consumption, it’s after-life, to treat the audience for the work as part of the work? The combined gaze of a particular group of viewers makes the work APPEAR and fuels its continued appearance through forms of reverberation: Rumor, story, memory… Not only did N’a pas un gramme de charisme. begin before the audience was even aware of it, but it ended 6 months after the last performance. A final leak, a film by Amelia Saul of “The Script” that was printed and distributed to the audience during the show in place of a program, reached all members of the audience concluding N’a pas un gramme de charisme., a relationship, not an object or even an event, between the audience’s desire to witness, the artist’s willingness to provide and, consequently, the audience’s agreement to forever be containers where the work is stored after the “live” has lived.

© Ruth Zoe Andreas, all rights reserved