Silene ?, the controversial artist who funds her work through bank robberies that reflect different art movements, has announced a new performance piece.
Unmarked envelopes were delivered to every major news outlet in Chicago today, handed in at the front desk by people in zoot suits and horse masks. Inside the envelopes were press releases made with letters cut from the last print edition of Newsweek, announcing her new installation, SEASON PASS, which is described in the press release as an “interactive story machine made of humans” Despite being the architect of the work, the one thing we know for sure is that Silene herself will have already left town…
The F.B.I. also released a statement, saying in part that “Anyone who performs, attends, in or in any way aids her work is member of an ongoing criminal conspiracy.” Silene ? is number seven on their Most Wanted List, following a string of bank robberies that are equal parts aesthetic and illegal, the most well-known being the one where all the money in a vault was replaced with the exact same amount of Monopoly money. In another, an IOU, purportedly signed by her brother, was left in the vault for the amount stolen.
Her brother, financier Frank Marks, whom she refers to in her statements and work as “Fascist Cliché Deutschmarks” has been also been hunting her since she revealed his plans to take over the US government. Though no charges were ever filed against him, he fled the country, but continues to use his vast wealth and connections to influence policy and prevent her from receiving amnesty. Marks was blamed by many for the shootout after one of Silene’s pieces, when an unidentified man opened fire during the curtain call.
Silene first broke through with a series of performance pieces called. ALL YOUR REALISM ARE BELONG TO US. The first was A STILTED DINNER WITH MY REAL FRIENDS, which was an abridged mash-up of the film My Dinner With Andre and Donald Margulies’ play Dinner With Friends performed by clowns on stilts. The massive food fights in the piece required the first three rows to wear ponchos. That was followed by GHOSTS & MONSTERS, where a seemingly normal performance of Ibsen’s Ghosts is slowly taken over by Frankenstein’s Monster, The Wolfman, Dracula, King Kong, Godzilla, The Invisible Man, and The Creature From The Black Lagoon. The third part, TOM’S BOYS featured Brick from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Tom from Glass Menagerie getting married and crucifying Blanch DuBois, then starting a church devoted to her.
More recently, her CHILDREN’S CRUD-SADE, a series of David Mamet plays performed in parks by girls between 8 and 12, stirred up some controversy. The work was denounced by parent’s groups, despite the fact that all the curse words were replaced by “sugar” and “sugary.” The playwright himself tried to stop the performances, but since the works were performed outside in a location only revealed to attendees, the cease-and-desist order went unheeded.
Silene’s latest piece is described as a ride where the audience is a protagonist and decides the course of the story. Silene says of the piece, “Just as in the real world, despite the appearance of choice, we are led inexorably by a series a lunatics down the rosy path to constant war and inevitable destruction.” It will play at The Frontier on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, September 12-28.