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india menuez's top performance art masterpieces

For i-D’s The New Issue, we had tea with artist, actress, and model India Menuez in her Chinatown apartment/studio/dream factory. Founder of the Luck You art collective, India heads up a crew of the brightest spots of the city’s art scene. We asked the New York native to weigh in on her top five favourite performance art pieces, from Yoko Ono laying the seeds for Edward Scissorhands to whippin’ that hair back and forth. Says India: “Choosing five favourite performance art pieces was almost as hard as choosing five people to evacuate Earth with if there was an Apocalypse. OK, I'm being dramatic. Just know there is so much more amazing work out there to explore and be made!”

Related topics

Text India Menuez 
Photography Petra Collins

Read our interview with India Menuez

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  • chris burden's commercials

    "In Chris Burden's Commercials, there is this triumph-of-art-over-the-Goliath-that-is-media feeling that is so exciting and inspiring. This kind of anarchy in action - using the mouth of an oppressive force to sing a ridiculous and uplifting song - is just a brilliant way to expose an unexpected audience to something actually new.

  • yoko ono's cut piece

    "Yoko Ono's Cut Piece is a simple experiment that turns observers into participants, even if they choose not to cut. Oko plays the passive woman, not without some quiet aggression. The piece’s strength lies in the sincere vulnerability she offers to her audience."

  • paul mccarthey's painter

    "Laughter is such an uncontrolled, sometimes uncomfortable reaction. Getting an audience to laugh is a perfect way to open them up. This piece is a wonderful example of what humour can do for art. When we are children, we learn so much through play. Often as we age and acclimate to societal standards, we start to lose track of its value as a learning tool. One of the best things about being an artist is not giving up on the importance of play. In Painter, we see McCarthy going conceptual places he couldn't reach without those long prosthetic fingers. Through character in performance, an artist can free themselves from themselves."


  • olivier de sagazan's butoh piece for samsara

    "The first time I experienced Butoh it kind of blew my head off. While it emerged from post-World War II Japan as a groundbreaking dance form, it’s since become so much more. I don't enjoy the grotesque, but I do find that Butoh's exploration of human nature’s darkest darknesses creates a new space for artists to liberate themselves through movement. Darkness will always exist and it takes such admirable courage to cross through its dichotomies."

  • hair fetishism on youtube as outsider performance art

    "How deep do we all go on our own private Internet adventures? This pick might seem like a wild card, but it’s important to address the Internet as a medium and how it affects what we view. In this video, which I consider outsider art, the subject is fetishism. In its embrace of weirdness, fetish culture naturally steps into the realm of performance. It's always this less art-aware starting point that generates the most interest for me, but these are also subjects artists can embrace and explore. It's the joy of watching a child draw, a girl with disproportionate hair dancing alone with her camera."