Exit, Pursued by a Brancusi

Kevin Spacey is not only a talented actor, it turns out he’s also the Old Vic theater in London’s first artistic director. And apparently he’s got some wild ideas about bringing art to theatergoers expecting to find something by Mamet or O’Neill.

In October Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s work Drama Queens will be performed with voices provided by Mr. Spacey among others. “Voices?” you ask. That’s right, because the performers are six remote controlled reproductions of contemporary art sculptures.

Dramatis Personae:

Jeff Koons’ Rabbit
Sol Lewitt’s Four Cubes
Ulrich Rückriem’s Untitled (Granite)
Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man
Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box
Barbara Hepworth’s Elegy III

Somewhere there’s a Hall of very jealous Presidents, or at least a bunch of miffed, out of work Chuck E. Cheese robots. It’s not the first time artists have borrowed a trick from the Country Bear Jamboree, but Spacey’s involvement and its appearance at the Old Vic certainly gives the venture a higher profile. Will there ever come a time when the line between High and Low art is so blurred beyond recognition that it becomes imperceptible? For my part I hope not. I kind of like the fact that every now and then one or the other sneaks across enemy lines, returning from their looting expedition rearmed with their purloined state secrets.


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