Thanks to Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin, two of my favorite poets/writers/performers for writing a play that really means something. We went to Steppenwolf last night to see This is Modern Art and stayed in the theater for the lively after-performance discussion with Kevin.
If art is meant to provoke, to challenge, to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange, TIMA succeeds. It's a great Chicago story, with a fine crew of young actors. It tells the the tale of a group of young graffiti and street artists (yes, there are now some old ones) who "bomb" the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago (based on a true story).
|Kevin Coval dialogues with audience.|
How's that working?
I felt solidarity also after reading S-T film critic's Hedy Weiss' scathing, horrible, ignorant review. She calls the play "damaging" and charges Coval (founder of Louder Than a Bomb) and Goodwin with promoting "vandalism" and engaging in "sanctimonious talk about minority teens invariably being shut out of opportunities and earmarked for prison." She brings to my mind images of the vicious critic Tabitha as portrayed in the film Bird Man.
But critics be damned. The play, which unfortunately closes tonight, packed Steppenwolf every night with a mostly young and enthusiastic crowd. I'm almost certain that none of them were the ones who messed up my garage.
If you can somehow find a ticket for tonight's show, grab it.