YOU’RE A BIG BOY NOW OR RAUSCHENBERG IST TOEDLICH
PANOPLY PERFORMANCE LABORATORY
“You’re a Big Boy Now, OR Rauschenberg ist Toedlich” began while PPL were on tour with Valerie Kuehne through the Midwestern United States, eating in diners and playing shows. Menus became templates for lifestyles dictated at the side of the road: we hand-drew some and laminated our own mimesis. Our menus offered choices between food items such as hamburgers, eggs and chocolate body parts (cast by Ivy Castellanos), songs, actions and disruptions, interactions such as “psychoanalysis” and “dream therapy” and more. The severed head of Robert Rauschenberg was reproduced in white plaster and suspended from the ceiling and each paper plate used by our “customers” was taped to the wall.
Other actions resulted in a broken cow jawbone covered in resin, food coloring on the face and an analog “alpenmilch” instrument (by Brian McCorkle). Within our checkered world, we confronted white privilege and Midwestern American cultural practices (what can I get you, hon?), the service industry (as we worked 12-hour days for next to nothing, each menu item costing 1-2 Euro), daily diseases, the digestive tract and salmonella poisoning. Valerie played the cello, Esther sewed the tablecloths into habits (as worn by monks and as in perpetuation of behavior), ketchup and mustard became paint and little silver bells were attached to a plastic boar.
An early version of the project was performed for twelve hours at Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics, curated by Miles Pflanz, and this culminating version was open for three days in Berlin in May 2013, curated by Teena Lange and Anya Liftig as part of The Image is the Act? at Grüntaler9 during Month of Performance Art Berlin (MPA-B). Guru Rugu, Ivy Castellanos and Hector Canonge performed other works in the diner installation late at night.