David Blaine and Blue Man Group: Extreme Performance Art Moves From the Margin to the Mainstream


| December 13, 2000

David Blaine and Blue Man Group: Extreme Performance Art Moves From the Margin to the Mainstream, C. Carr, Village Voice
The latest sensational incarnation of Houdini-style performance art is David Blaine, an artist who recently subjected himself to three days encased in ice. One difference is that in the end, Blaine received $1 million for his act. Blaine highlighted the potential dangers of his stunt: muscle spasms, frostbite, blood clots, and exhaustion. C. Carr in the Village Voice derides Blaine's performance for its profit margin. He writes: 'There's now a 30-year history of performances centered on endurance or ordeals--Chris Burden spending five days and nights curled up in a two-by-two-by-three-foot locker (1971); Marina Abramovic and Ulay walking from opposite ends of the Great Wall of China until they met in the middle (1988). All these feats were harder than Blaine's, done for no profit, and memorable because they had meaning, while Blaine's words about confronting 'every human fear' seem rhetorical given his commercial deals.'
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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