Performance: I Shot Jack Two

Ela Troyano, Uzi Parnes: Live Cinema

27 July, Wensday, 10 pm, Helios 3

Jack Smith has been called the godfather of performance art. Screenings of his films were unpredictable performances in which he would notoriously cut and edit his films on the spot. Ela Troyano and Uzi Parnes continue the tradition of live film by combining Troyano’s acclaimed Bubble People with Exotic Dreams and Stars of L.E.S., photo series of Jack Smith taken by Parnes in the early 1980s. In the rarely shown, legendary Bubble People, Jack Smith and Phoebe Legere appear as ‘bubble goddesses’, while the rest of the performers, including Parnes, are dressed as Marilyn Monroe. The improvised film was shot in Uzi Parnes’ loft in 1982 and his sculptures and installations are visible in the background. Ela Troyano introduced me to Smith when she brought him to my loft in Soho for a party in 1979, says Uzi Parnes. Soon she moved in and Jack became a frequent guest. At that time I was writing a PhD in Performance Studies on NYU, and Jack allowed me to document his mysterious performances for that purpose. In exchange I was to make beautiful and stylish promotional pictures that he would use as advertisements. Smith got the prints of those pictures but I kept the negatives, which I now use to reconstruct his performances.

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