Lou Mallozzi: performanceDecember 5, 2010
Lou Mallozzi opens his performance with a road. He loops the sound of a car horn and speaks at a slow and measured pace. Mallozzi creates a trance by combining the car horn with a verbal description of the repeating yellow road lines. The viewer breaks free of the trance when Mallozzi leads their vehicle off road. Effectively collapsing musique concrète and spoken word together, Mallozzi’s sound performances are an updated riff off of the Fluxus paradigm.
Mallozzi may sit with two turntables, two portable CD players, and a microphone, but calling him a “sound artist” is reductive and denies the visceral presence his body plays throughout the performance. In one piece, he talks about the stars while lowering his face into a rotating bowl of water. He finishes the speech with his face totally submerged; his celestial ruminations quieted by the smallest worldly sea.
To close the set, Mallozzi claps into a microphone and exclaims a chronologically ordered list of Super Bowl half-time performers. Depending on the viewer’s age (and engagement with Super Bowl trivia) s/he may realize the origin of the group names at a different time than the rest of the audience. As the Super Bowl dates progress nearer to our own moment, corporate sponsorships are tagged on to the group titles. Mallozzi claps vigorously the entire time, pausing only to slap his left nipple while reading Janet Jackson’s name. The piece is at once personal and cultural, using the language employed for Super Bowl half-time performances as an index of 44 years of American ethos.