Louisa Buck: Performance art cross dresses across London

You’d normally associate go-go gyrating and pole dancing with the seamy streets of Soho, and expect searingly autobiographical performances involving dead animals, cyber role playing and gender-bending genital manipulation to be taking place within the domain of a cutting-edge contemporary art foundation. But last night the roles were firmly reversed. Kim Noble pushed the boundaries of live performance using hidden cameras, coruscating confessions and bizarre internet exchanges to put his audiences through the emotional mangle on the stage of the Soho Theatre; while over at the David Roberts Art Foundation, the artist Than Hussein Clark had transformed the normally rigorous gallery space into The Violet Crab, a louche establishment complete with a crustacean-encrusted piano and a hippo-shaped bar, which he launched with a lavish theatrical extravaganza of cabaret acts including fez-wearing, leopard-skin sporting go-go boys Tojan (sic) and Taylor, the kimono-clad pole dancer Ayumi LaNoire and the artist chanteuse Anya Dietnam. For these days the world of performance art is a permeable one, with stereotypes existing to be manipulated and deconstructed. Or, as Cole Porter put it rather more succinctly, now God knows, anything goes!

Ayumi LaNoire performing at the David Roberts Art Foundation © Dan Weill

"Kim Noble: You're Not So Alone" at the Soho Theatre

Published Fri, 06 Feb 2015 12:07:00 GMT

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Louisa Buck

Louisa Buck is The Art Newspaper’s contemporary art correspondent and the co-author of Owning Art: The Contemporary Art Collector's Handbook and Commissioning Contemporary Art. A Handbook for Curators, Collectors and Artists.