A View from the Ground at Animal Collective and Danny Perez Sold-Out Performance at the Guggenheim

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Seventeen minutes. That’s how long it took the tickets to sell out for Animal Collective and artist Danny Perez‘s collaborative performance piece at the Guggenheim late last week (we hope you were one of those on the phone queue after we told you to act fast a few days before they went on sale back in mid-February). While we weren’t able to make it to the show, given our use of an old rotary phone and the fact that one of us lives in Chicago, the Wall Street Journal sent writer Kimberly Chou to file this report for their arts blog, Speakeasy. From Chou’s description, which is wonderfully lengthy, it sounds like it merited that rush of ticket grabbers. Much less like a show and far more like a temporary exhibition, the even featured all sorts of miscellaneous bits and pieces of audio-visual projections, allowing those lucky few who were able to attend the event, part of the Guggenheim’s 50th anniversary celebration, to wander and take it all in as they saw fit. Here’s a section of Chou’s description:

Advance press materials warned visitors not to think of “Transverse Temporal Gyrus” as an Animal Collective concert or art installation. Instead, the band played recorded music composed for the event, paired with Perez’s accompanying visuals. The sounds and images were broadcast from different points throughout the Guggenheim’s famous spiral structure, creating an immersive art-rock womb for guests to wander through. In the center of the rotunda’s ground floor was the band. The members were elevated on stools and decked in dark cloaks and masks that made them into hoary, horned beasts, with each presiding over soft, boulder-like forms that contained glowing orbs. Costumed this way, with a giant mountain of the same plush material behind them and clear stalagmites piercing the floor in the foreground, the Animal Collective guys stood mostly immobile for the three-hour show — a feat in itself, especially considering that they’d already performed the piece once in the afternoon. (“Motionless performances are the hardest,” admitted Marina Abramovic, performance art legend, in a profile in this week’s issue of the New Yorker.)