2007, Wed, Aug 222007, Sat, Aug 25

Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping

New York Performance Artists Explore Berlin's Urban Space

Reverend Billy | (c) Fred Askew

Reverend Billy | (c) Fred Askew

nomadic new york counters Manhattan's restless flow of money with "decelerated" in-between spaces. Their performance art refuses spectacle. It takes on a political dimension through the formation of temporary collectives which occupy spaces in new ways. The artists open up New York ánd Berlin through their nomadic coming and going, their avoidance of fixed structures. In Berlin they will tell us a story of life in the global metropolis, a story that we all have in common.


No multinational corporation, and certainly no shopping mall, is safe from Reverend Billy. From 22 August Reverend Billy will appear at Berlin's temples of consumption, where he and his Church of Stop Shopping will hold open services, including sermon and gospel choir. At once smoothly charming and cuttingly critical, Reverend Billy preaches against the phoney life promised by experience-marketing and brand-name products. His credo is consumer refusal, his arch enemy the companies that fill public space with chain stores and advertising. Nobody can predict when and where the artistic performance will cross over into the uncontrollable realm of spontaneous political action. Reverend Billy practices a kind of political theatre that in the USA is possible in few places outside New York.


Curated by André Lepecki, New York University