Feline Theatricality

Tony Smith, Die 1962

Tony Smith, "Die," 1962

I stumbled on this YouTube video today, and immediately stopped to think about how much Michael Fried has given me. Sometimes a critic’s description of a phenomenon can be truly apt even if the values attributed to that same phenomenon are less than agreeable. Encountering  Tony Smith’s Die as a teenage college student was a key moment that led me to my lifelong obsession with performance. I’m delighted by the theatrical relation between a viewer and an object, the mental play of its potentially endless repetition, the movement necessitated to experience the work from all sides.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdhLQCYQ-nQ]

In an earlier post Jennifer Doyle discussed the difficulty of a work like Die; it can be hard to engage with unless you have some information about its context and place in the history of ideas about art. I do think this little video might help for imagining a particularly playful minimalist engagement…