Temescal Art Center, Oakland, California.
This one is a rich poetic one with a couple of adventurous spirits willing to go into rituals of intimacy. But we ran out of time and got detoured by journalism students unwilling to participate. To play the WHAT IF game, what if I had went right into the erotic rituals when the two said YES rather than dealing with the other people?
Below is the extremely well-written review of last week's performance written by the journalist I kicked out! I always say if you want a good review, either goose the critic or kick her out!
Entering Oakland’s “Uncomfortable Zone of Fun: Risk for Deep Love”
By Eloise Murray, The Pioneer, 11/8/12
Preparing for one of Frank Moore’s events is impossible.
Yet, being there in person is necessary to understand the true bizarre nature of the “ritual audience participation experience experiments” conducted by the widely respected shaman.
On Saturday night, his experiment was conducted in Oakland’s Temescal Arts Center, an event he hosts every first Saturday of the month.
The 66-year-old, Moore, unable to walk or talk as he was born with cerebral palsy, is well known for his ritualistic performances in which members of the crowd interact in intimate, erotic and rattled moments.
He has been referred to as the “king of eroticism,” one of the U.S.’s most controversial performance artists by P-form magazine, and the San Francisco Guardian guarantees it will “baffle your mind.”
Intrigued by these reviews, The Pioneer made an appearance to Saturday night’s experiment titled “Risk for Deep Love,” which drew an intimate audience of approximately 20 unique characters, such as a nudist who was raised a Mormon in Salt Lake City, and a 70-year-old “pragmatic realist” who served as a sharpshooter in the Vietnam War.
It appeared no one knew what to expect when entering what Moore commonly refers to as the “Uncomfortable Zone of Fun,” a room filled with an array of musical instruments, hanging holiday lights, radiant artwork featuring brightly-colored abstracts of exploded female genitalia and sexual encounters, and a man crouched down by a synthesizer in the corner creating dark, ambient sounds in silence. The colors of the room were as psychedelic as the encounters soon to occur.
“I thought everyone would just be coming here to jam out with their instruments,” said one participant with confusion and embarrassment in his voice on arrival. “I just saw ‘Risk for Deep Love’ and it vibed with what I was about,” added another after Moore asked them to speak.
The evening began with Moore, who communicates through an electronic device, which his wife, Linda Mac, read and translated in a disconnected monotone manner, asking audience members to read some of his erotic poetry to the group.
This part of the experiment didn’t last too long as Moore then began demanding participants to undress one another.
“S … a … say … saying yes … o … p … opens everything up … for … every … everyone,” Moore communicated through Mac, staring around the room.
Moore questioned everyone in attendance throughout the evening, frequently moaning with excitement and banging his two different colored shoes on the footrest of his wheelchair and baring his toothless grin.
Strangely enough, the audience showed littled reluctance in obeying his orders.
After a young male poet undressed Moore’s cameraman, who filmed the remainder of the experiment naked, Moore requested a young woman in her early 20s and his wife to undress one another.
“I am surprisingly chill,” the young woman said, confidently standing before a room of gazing eyes on her stark naked body.
It appeared Moore had the power to create his own ideal reality each month, where like-minded individuals come together aiming to feel comfortable in an environment society perceives as uncomfortable and confronting.
“It just reminds me of playing dress-ups as a little girl,” added another young woman, who was reluctant to get completely naked, but allowed a middle aged woman to dress her in a sexy see through costume, as requested by Moore.
Similar rituals continued for the next 90 minutes, until the room was a niche nudist colony of misfits talking about their lives, all the while no one questioning Moore’s motives.
How the ritual finishes remains a mystery, as after Moore diverted his attention to the three members of The Pioneer staff to ask them to undress, and consequently saying no, three journalists left the room, being reminded by Moore this was a participation not observation ritual.
The sounds of the various musical instruments rattling and blue lights flashing escaped through the cracks in the window on the way out, by passers none-the-wiser of what was happening behind those white wooden doors.