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

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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