Bushwick Artist Will Sit Naked on a Toilet for 2 Days to Protest Bullshit in the Art World

Image: Courtesy of Christopher Stout Gallery

Bushwick has seen plenty of bizarre nudity over the years–whether it’s burlesque, shows ar Bizarre, smallest dick contest, or an old-fashion strip show at Pumps. What we haven’t seen is an artist getting naked while sitting on a toilet in an attempt to make a public statement.

Lisa Levy, a self-proclaimed psychotherapist, artist, performer and comedian will get naked at Christopher Stout Gallery on Saturday and Sunday of January 30 and 31 from 1 p.m to 6 p.m. in her durational piece titled “Artist is Humbly Present.”

Referencing Marina Abramović’s seminal piece “Artist is Present” performed in 2010 at MoMA–which she calls “the pivotal moment for pretense and BS in the art world”–Lisa Levy will be sitting on a toilet motionless as the spectators will be invited to sit on another toilet opposite her. People will be invited to interact with her in any way, except for touching.

Lisa explained that the idea for her performance came about after she came home one night from a really pretentious art evening. “I was really pissed and aggravated about the pretense, competition and the amount of bullshit in the art world,” she said.

“[In this performance] I’m trying to present myself in the humblest way possible,” she continued. “I think ego interferes with art making, it makes the artist self-conscious. The most direct way to make the artwork is the least egoic way possible.” According to Lisa, ego is like a drug and if you have too much of it it distorts your reality. Oh, don’t we all know it.

Lisa says that the performance is “kind of a joke,” and a way to express her anger in a humorous way. “I’m most excited about the experience, and I am really curious to see how the people will react. It’s a social experiment, like a lot of my work,” she said.

As far as practical matters of the performance go, Lisa said that they might bring a space heater in the gallery and that she will take breaks as often as she needs that.

Lisa Levy is familiar to Bushwick Daily readers. In the past she has answered your burning questions about love, sex and relationships in her advice column. She currently hosts a weekly radio show called “Dr. Lisa Gives a Shit” at Radio Free Brooklyn. Lisa has exhibited her work in Brooklyn and nationally, and recently she “shrinked” yours truly and my husband in a comedic couples therapy show.

Lisa Levy, “The Artist Is Humbly Present,” a 2-day durational performance, Christopher Stout Gallery, 299 Meserole St, East Williamsburg, January 30 and 31, 1-6PM. Free admission. 

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