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Arca brought NSFW performance art to an outdoor lot in NYC (pics)

Nonprofit multi-arts center The Shed opens in Manhattan in Spring of 2019, and in advance of its opening, the pre-opening event A Prelude to the Shed brought two weeks of free programming to an outdoor space a block away from where The Shed will stand. Arca and Total Freedom performed on two of the last evenings of Prelude, Friday (5/11) and Saturday (5/12). Total Freedom’s piece, called Piety, incorporated dancer Josh Johnson and a quartet of Frank A. Haye and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir. Total Freedom stayed behind the decks for Arca’s set, which began on the site of a wrecked car, flipped over in a pool of water, on the grounds. Surrounded by smoke and, eventually, a spray of rain from a faucet above the scene, Arca sang while climbing onto the car, splashing through the water, and walking through the crowd. A cello player elevated on a separate platform accompanied him, and Arca left the site of the car to sing by her (he stayed on the move for most of the show) before climbing into a sinister looking examination chair and smearing fake blood on himself from a hanging bag. Arca’s last Brooklyn show at a more “traditional” venue featured intense visuals via projection, but outdoors and with props to play off of, his Prelude performance was a primal piece of performance art. Check out pictures from Friday night in the gallery above, and a few fan-taken videos below. (Both are on the NSFW side).

Meanwhile, The Shed has announced the first seven commissions for their inaugural 2019 season, which include Soundtrack of America, “conceived by Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, Soundtrack of America celebrates the unrivaled impact of African American music on art and popular culture over the past 100 years,” and a collaboration between Steve Reich and Gerhard Richter, with another between Richter and Arvo Pärt.

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