“Clouds/Cows”—a collaborative performance-turned-exhibition by artist Jessie Vogel and performance duo Nat & Veronica—is a meditation on the mundane, an exploration of everyday sights transformed into something fantastical.
At last Saturday’s opening at The Front, three women wearing six baggy sweaters (one for each set of arms and legs) stared in soft focus through a round plywood frame. They flicked their arms and emitted deep grumbling mmm sounds before lying on sod. When a gallerygoer dropped a bottle, they responded—flicking their arms and letting their eyes, then their heads, then their whole bodies wander toward the object. Their tongues darted out of their mouths exploring their cheeks, trailing half-munched carrots. Nat & Veronica’s Cows performance is at once comical and disturbing. The three performers embody so completely this archetypical American farm animal, provoking laughter and drawing unsettling connections between women and these animals who provide milk and meat. The piece commands us to stop, watch, and wait. Read more