Brian Feldman (artist)

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Brian Feldman
NationalityAmerican
Occupationperformance artist
Years active2003–present

Brian Feldman is an American fringe theatre performance artist whose work often involves "bizarre feats of endurance".[1]

Background[edit]

Feldman was raised in Orlando, Florida, where as a child he performed in television commercials for Disney and Nickelodeon.[2] His parents, Edward Feldman and Marilyn Wattman-Feldman,[3][4] have both participated in his performance art.[1][3] He is based in Washington, DC and Orlando, and has received fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.[1]

Performances[edit]

Feldman's first performance art piece, staged in 2003, was The Feldman Dynamic,[5] in which Feldman, his parents, and sister have dinner onstage before an audience.[3] The Feldman Dynamic was later staged as part of the New York Fringe Festival.[6]

Other shows involving his parents have included 24 Hour Embrace on Father's Day in 2011, in which Feldman and his father hugged 24 hours inside a boxing ring,[1] and 24 Minute Embrace on Mother's Day in 2015, in which Feldman and his mother hugged for 24 minutes each in Orlando, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.[3]

In a 2010 piece designed to protest Florida's laws against same-sex marriage, called Brian Feldman Marries Anybody, Feldman "promised to legally marry any woman who showed up at the Orange County Courthouse at a specific date and time".[7] Feldman married "relative stranger" Hannah Miller, and the marriage was annulled in 2011.[8]

In the show Dishwasher, Feldman goes to an audience member's home, washes their dishes, and then performs a monologue of the audience member's choosing, ending with the question: "Am I a better actor or dishwasher?"[2] Dishwasher has been performed in Central Florida[8] and in DC as part of the Capital Fringe Festival.[3]

Other Feldman performances include txt in DC, in which Feldman gives audience members anonymous Twitter accounts, and then sits onstage reading out messages as they come in;[3][5] Brian Feldman's William Shakespeare's Macbeth, where he repeated the word "Macbeth" more than 17,000 times over nearly three hours in an amphitheater at Orlando's Lake Eola Park, while wearing a hockey mask in front of an audience given earplugs;[1] and Wawa Shabbawa, in DC and Florida, a shabbat dinner held at a Wawa convenience store.[9][5][10]

Interpretation[edit]

Feldman's art frequently makes use of repetition, the passage of time, and audience participation, often revealing "more about the people seeing the show than" about himself.[3] Feldman's work has been compared to Tehching Hsieh and Marina Abramovic, but "more playful".[2] Feldman has said of his work: "It’s a little terrifying and fear is a driving force. Fear of the unknown is exciting."[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Spata, Christopher (28 March 2017). "Performance artist squeezing oranges for 140 hours in St. Pete — then he'll wash your dishes". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Judkis, Maura (18 July 2015). "For Fringe actor Brian Feldman, all the kitchen's a stage, and all the dishes merely dirty". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Kurzius, Rachel (14 August 2015). "DCist Becomes #BFFs With Prolific Performance Artist Brian Feldman". DCist. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  4. ^ Palm, Matthew J. (24 April 2015). "Brian Feldman plans a Mother's Day hug to remember". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Kurzius, Rachel (5 February 2018). "In Which Performance Artist Brian Feldman Celebrates Shabbat in Wawa". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  6. ^ Hart, Anne Larimer (13 July 2015). "What It's Like to Have Brian Feldman Wash Your Dishes". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  7. ^ Sullivan, Erin (15 February 2016). "Artist Brian Feldman was injured in a mugging and needs your help". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  8. ^ a b Fraser, Trevor (3 February 2017). "Performance artist Brian Feldman will come to your house to perform a monologue — and wash your dishes". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  9. ^ Spata, Christopher (7 March 2018). "Performance artist's latest: A traditional Shabbat at a Wawa picnic table in Tampa". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  10. ^ Kubersky, Seth (October 31, 2018). "I was swift to RSVP for Wawa Shabbawa on Oct. 26, not knowing the significance that Shabbat would take on". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved November 16, 2018.

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