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Ian Thal

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Blogs by Ian Thal

On Display
5/5/2004 10:15:45 AM

A very different sort of gig: performing in the window at Gallery 108 in Somerville.
Saturday and Sunday, May 1 & 2, 2004:

Two days later, I am again with Su and Rosalie, this time at at Gallery 108, but a five minute walk from the Zeitgeist Gallery. This May Day weekend is also Somerville Open Studios, and so 108 is having a "Yart Sale." There are some yard sale items but mostly it means that paintings are being sold at low prices.

Rosalie has organized a weekend of performances in the windows of the gallery. All weekend, Miranda is hunched over a sewing machine in one window, fancifully modifying old items of clothing and making new ones. In the other window, there are a series of one hour performances by different artists.

On Saturday, Su dresses up like a little girl and has a tea party with a bunch of stuffed animals, while on Sunday she is a 1950s housewife at the ironing board who, upon running out of clothing, starts to iron papers, napkins and any other flat object that ends up in her hands. A man on the sidewalk is heard saying that he could pull up a chair, get a six pack, and watch her all day. The yellow ribbons taped to her red apron flutter as she sings to her pop songs.

When Su is called away from the window, Marc Lamoureux, a poet who has set up a table to sell chapbooks, broadsides and journals in the gallery takes her place and starts ironing his print wares. Marc recently published a chapbook entitled "29 Cheeseburgers" that caught my interest when I read an excerpt of it in an online newsletter. The cover is illustrated by the owner of 108-- Kate Ledogar.

Another performance is done by Milan Kohout. Milan is an artist and dissident who was granted political asylum in the United States in 1988 after being forced to flee then communist Czechoslovakia. His performance amounts to sitting on a heavy chair while wearing a sign around his neck that reads "I AM A TERRORIST" as he reads a book, or has a quiet conversation with Rosalie when she pokes her head into the window.

I perform an improvisation on each day. Each time, I begin by applying my makeup in full view of the street, using my hand mirror as I inititialy spread the clown white face powder, the grease paint, lipstick and eyeliner. Once my face is constructed, I pull my hood over my hair, put on my hat and start to improves with the various items in the window.

On an easel rests a portrait of Paul Richard, a (formally) local artist noted for his publicity stunts, painted by Kate. I lift the portrait off the easel and start to use it as a mask as I take a series of poses in my new guise as Paul Richard as rendered in paints and wearing my usual stripped tights. Kate seems to be amused and I hear her commenting that "Ian likes being Paul Richard." She takes a few photographs. At one point the frame and the painted panel become detached and so I have a new prop-- the frame. I find away of pressing the top of my head against the the top of the frame while pushing down and to the sides with my forearms, posing as if in a portrait.

On the second day, I expand my improvisation with the empty picture frame, sometimes slowly stepping through it, first putting my head through, then my right foot and then my left foot, finally pulling my rear end through and leaving the frame behind me. Other times I hang the frame on a nail in the window glazing and use it again for my living portrait act as I stand on a chair and lean forward. At another point I pull out my masks and make the frame into a puppet theater.

Near the end of my performance, Kate catches sight of me stepping through the frame again while balancing on the back of the chair and panics that I'm about to tumble through her plate glass window and on the sidewalk below. I don't but, I rather not worry her any further. Finish, pull out my hand mirror and cold cream and clean the makeup off my face, thus ending the performance.


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More Blogs by Ian Thal
• September 2007 Blog - Saturday, October 06, 2007
• August 2007 Blog Index - Sunday, September 02, 2007
• July 2007 Blog Index: - Wednesday, August 01, 2007
• June 2007 Blog Index - Monday, July 02, 2007
• May 2007 Blog Index - Wednesday, May 30, 2007
• The Adventures of CMYK - Tuesday, May 01, 2007
• April Madness - Tuesday, May 01, 2007
• Walt Whitman and I - Friday, April 20, 2007
• Breaking with Bread and Puppet - Thursday, April 12, 2007
• American Dissident Outs Stalinist Clown! - Saturday, February 24, 2007
• The Last Days of Judas Iscariot - Wednesday, January 03, 2007
• My First Feature Film Shoot - Monday, September 04, 2006
• Into the Station” at Boston City Hall - Saturday, July 08, 2006
• Becoming Fire - Friday, June 09, 2006
• Bill and Ian See Blue Man Group - Monday, April 17, 2006
• An Open Letter to Stephen Schwartz - Monday, April 03, 2006
• My Quarrel with The Weekly Standard's Stephen Schwartz - Saturday, March 04, 2006
• Bread & Puppet Journal, 2005 - Thursday, December 29, 2005
• Teaching mime with Open Air Circus - Friday, August 05, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VIII - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VII - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VI - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part V - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part IV - Monday, January 03, 2005
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part III - Friday, December 24, 2004
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part II - Friday, December 24, 2004
• Another Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part I - Friday, December 24, 2004
• The Dresden Dolls show - Tuesday, November 09, 2004
• Waltzing to War @ Out of the Blue - Tuesday, November 09, 2004
• Word Play on SCAT - Tuesday, November 09, 2004
• Autographs & Interviews - Tuesday, November 09, 2004
• Beacon Hill Panorama @ All Asia Café - Monday, October 04, 2004
• Trip to Providence - Monday, October 04, 2004
• Interview in Providence Phoenix - Thursday, September 02, 2004
• Activists Vs. Artists - Friday, July 30, 2004
• James Van Looy Interview - Thursday, May 20, 2004
• The Perils of a Political Humorist - Wednesday, May 05, 2004
•  On Display - Wednesday, May 05, 2004  

• Whimsy: 4/29/2004 - Wednesday, May 05, 2004
• Self Criticism - Wednesday, May 05, 2004
• From The Archives: A Misreading - Tuesday, March 09, 2004
• Our National Anthem/Back in the USA - Friday, January 30, 2004
• Notes on the Confederacy/Back in the USA - Friday, January 30, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Epilogue - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part XVII - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part XVI - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part XV - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater, Part XIV - Tuesday, January 20, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater, Part XIII - Monday, January 12, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater, Part XII - Monday, January 12, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part XI - Monday, January 12, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part X - Friday, January 02, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part IX - Friday, January 02, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VIII - Friday, January 02, 2004
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VII - Saturday, December 20, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part VI - Tuesday, December 16, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part V - Tuesday, December 16, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part IV - Monday, December 15, 2003
• Two Weeks With Bread & Puppet Theater: Part III - Sunday, December 14, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part II - Friday, December 12, 2003
• Two Weeks with Bread & Puppet Theater: Part I - Friday, December 12, 2003
• Flux Concert & Lunar Eclipse - Friday, November 28, 2003
• Squawkings, Hexings and Sonny Holiday - Sunday, November 02, 2003
• On Groupies and Bloggers: Part II: The Blogger - Monday, October 27, 2003
• On Groupies and Bloggers: Part I: The Groupie - Monday, October 27, 2003
• First Ballet Lesson - Sunday, October 26, 2003
• Economics of Art - Wednesday, August 13, 2003
• An artist at work - Tuesday, August 05, 2003
• Performance @ Large - Tuesday, August 05, 2003
• Friday, July 18th, 2003: - Sunday, July 27, 2003
• Trip to NYC, part II - Sunday, July 20, 2003
• Trip to NYC, part I - Sunday, July 20, 2003


Cluck: Murder Most Fowl by Eric Knapp

For the lover of comedy with a twist, Cluck: Murder Most Fowl is a veritable Indian burn of mystery, adventure, horror, and humor. Cluck is a multiple award winner, including the ..  
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