With Gob Squad’s latest, your 15 minutes of fame begin in the ‘Kitchen’

Laura Tonke, front, and Sarah Thom get down in “Kitchen.”
David Baltzer

Gob Squad’s “Kitchen (You’ve Never Had It So Good)” isn’t yet another homage to Andy Warhol.
His iconic ’60s movies such as “Kitchen” inspired this Berlin-based performance group to set the action in 1960s New York City, where Warhol’s superstars chipped at the barrier between artist and audience by doing, well, nothing much. Gob Squad’s interactive performance piece breaks it down further.

“Stumbling across Warhol was like finding the square peg for the square hole,” says Gob Squader Sharon Smith. “What we talked about when we were thinking of making it was creating intimate moments with the audience. Within the artifice of the film, we find these very real moments. We use artifice to access something more real.”

That’s achieved by what the collective call a “live film” where audience members eventually replace the cast. This might just be what Warhol was doing, wittingly or not. Unarguably, Warhol’s ’60s share much with today’s surge of civil unrest and the resurrection of demanding social justice. 

“We’re trying to feel what it was like to be in the ’60s. It all seemed a bit of a myth to us. We’re trying it on; this is how it felt to be among those icons. We’re inventing all this stuff: Feminism, we’re going into Stonewall. We’re trying to feel what it’s like to be so young and crazy in such an amazing time.
There’s the feeling that we could change things, but we’re all just stoned in a kitchen.”

15 minutes
   
Warhol said everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. Gob Squad’s
production asks, “Why only that amount of time?” and, rather than look
back, brings ’60s utopian ideals into the present. “Once the audience
gets involved and introduces a different relationship, it becomes about
this event, now. What’s being created is beautiful and better for not
being contrived. Everybody is celebrating now. There’s an uplifted
positive feeling.”


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