"It was crazy! but it happened" --John Luna
John Luna's lecture/performance was intended to happen in the parking lot below Xchanges' balcony, but when we arrived and started to set up, we realized that a musical performance, perhaps ROMP, was underway just down the street, and was in fact so loud that we could barely hear one another speak. Also it was insanely hot. So, since Xchanges' gallery is closed during the month of August, we decided to move indoors where it was cool, dim and serenely pale.
The performance was in essence a group revising of a long poem written by Mr. Luna himself, during which the artist asked us, the audience, for help in moving words around, and perhaps meaning as well (it was difficult to tell--he was so firmly in charge of his vision).
It was a strange and interesting experience; disjointed, messy and almost unbearably intimate. Participants left worried that perhaps they'd insulted the artist by voicing their opinions too honestly, and perhaps they had, but one can only surmise that the artist intended and expected to make himself vulnerable to the opinions and judgements of others. Group critique situations are never a sure thing, and when a work is admittedly in progress, the delicate balance between respect and "well, this is what I think" becomes a little difficult to achieve. I've been in rooms where an artist, struggling with her intentions and form, has been set upon by her so-called support team, like wasps on something dying. It's not pretty. The ego becomes inflated, and consequently deflated, very quickly.
And so kudos to John Luna, and all the people participating, for stepping (somewhat) knowingly into that morass. There is always so much to learn, and learning is always so much a risk.