Performance Art Alert: Ann Magnuson

Get the Details of Ann Magnuson’s New Performance Around Kenny Scharf’s Cadillac Sculpture on April 14 from 6-8pm.

In conjunction with the debut of Kenny Scharf’s new customized Cadillac sculpture, The New and Improved Ultima Suprema Deluxa, the multi-talented multi-hyphenate Ann Magnuson will perform Finism, a performance with Scharf’s artwork at the opening of his upcoming exhibition Hodgepodge at Honor Fraser on April 14, 2012 from 6-8pm.

Recalling Cadillac’s original TV commercials, which featured glamorized calendar girls gesticulating to showcase the cars’ prime features a la Vanna White, Magnuson will take these 1960s-esque vanity girls as her inspiration; the L.A.-based actress, singer, writer and performance artist will mix her actions with the free-associating mannerisms of the Beat poets like Kerouac and Ginsberg while she engages with Scarf’s vehicular creation.

Titled Finism and inspired by a philosophy Scharf and Magnuson shared when they first began collaborating in the East Village of the 1980s, this art-world-ism is “art for the end of the world.” Coming from a time when nuclear war between the U.S. and Soviet Russia was an ever-present danger, Scharf and Magnuson felt that if the end of the world were fast approaching, it was best to party and party harder. Although taken from the French word “fin” seen often at the end of a film, this title also provides a double entendre referencing the tailfins of early Cadillacs, which were used to conceal the gas cap (a very real reminder of the practicality that lay beneath the candy-coated fantasy of shiny cars)–which Scharfs utilizes in his sculpture as well. For Magnuson, Finism, like tailfins, transforms a less-than-glamorous truth into a high-sheen fantasy, a valentine to mid-century America’s eternal optimism for the future.

by Alexis M. Johnson