Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2014
In the performance 100 Beautiful Jokes, Michael Portnoy proposes a new breed of joke. Rather than simply a means to laughter, the artist imagines the joke to be a thing of rare, complicated beauty to linger over and be emotionally transported by; something that makes you shudder for reasons slightly beyond reach.
Portnoy performs one beautiful joke every three minutes for five hours, accompanied by a lush cinematic soundtrack. The material for these highly abstract jokes is derived from a collection of his original texts, scores and lexicons, transmitted to him throughout the show. Both verbally and physically, Portnoy navigates through a landscape of prompts and source information, and uses that to channel and compose the script on the spot.
This project continues Portnoy's long-term exploration of the poetic potential of jokes, which he has explored in many media, from the written word, to installation, pedagogy, dance and conferences with humor theorists.
Curated By Hendrik Folkerts
All images by Ernst van Deursen
for trailer: http://vimeo.com/99394103
6 trench coats on canvas, 6 short films
Nuit Blanche, Paris
Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam
What are the war cries of Neo-Formalism? Are there any? Or are its fighters and agents doggedly anti-dogmatic?
THRILLOCHROMES imagines a subterranean world where such overblown directives (Dismantle... ! Infiltrate... !) are the scores for a collection of trench-coated operatives in a series of abstract thriller films which lead to the creation of excruciatingly beige monochromes.
The show consists of six monochromes and six corresponding short films playing on tropes of TV procedurals and espionage films. Accompanying the show is an artist publication with texts by Tirdad Zolghadr and Diane Bent commenting on the phenomena of the contemporary monochrome and the blood battle between hermeneutics and hermeticism.
The six short films, commissioned by Ville de Paris for Nuit Blanches 2013, were shot in the WWII bunkers beneath Gare de l'Est. The series continues Portnoy's recent interest in "improving", in the manner of an engineer/futurologist, recent dead-ends of contemporary art making. In this case the metastasis of textural abstraction and quasi-monochromes.
for trailer: ttp://vimeo.com/76771102
Review in Artforum, Feb 2014