TBA Day 2: CAMPO / PIETER AMPE & GUILHERME GARRIDO | Still Standing You

The skin we live in.

If watching two flabby, naked, middle-aged men with thinning (but longish) hair (and one with an enormous beard) somersault around on stage in a tangled mess, gripping each other’s awkwardly over-stretched (but, mercifully, flaccid) penis DOESN’T sound like it would normally find its way to the top of your to do list on a September night (at least not if it wasn’t raining and you had to pay to see it), know this: You need to get out more.

And you definitely need to come see Pieter Ampe and Guilherme Garrido do their thing.

Why?

Well, for one, it’s completely silly and yet deeply moving. The two men (presumably both heteros?) are so comfortable in their own bodies (which aren’t naked from the start – there’s plenty of good stuff before we get there) that they can focus in on the profound absurdity of our situation.

Namely, here we are, hurtling through space, trapped inside these bizarre structures of flesh and bone which grow (and lose) hair in the most alarming places, make noises, emit fluids, and stretch in all kinds of weird ways.

And make noises. A LOT of noises.

How can this possibly be our lot? WTF?

Mais voila.

It is.

For a little while, you’re apt to think these two wandered in from one of those permanent groups of dudes hanging out in the South Park blocks. The TBA first timer refrain “Hey, I could do what they’re doing on stage – so what’s so special about it? How is this art?” quickly fades when they perform some remarkable gestures of physical absurdity.

And in the closing moments when two naked bodies impossibly draped over each other shuffle across the stage like some prehistoric wooly mammoth of skin and hair and balls – it’s stunning.

There is nothing more subversive, off-putting, and (ultimately) moving on stage than the naked human body.

No deep thoughts or tendentious art projects here (see the next review for some of that).

It’s just wild adventuring, stripped down to the one thing we’ve got.

Probably not for the kids or bible study group.

And they definitely don’t let you do stuff like this in Russia.

Tip: You may want to sit one row back because…