Sunday, September 04, 2011

Triathlon of the Muses

Performance artists Kathryn Cornelius and Jeffry Cudlin are getting physical. On Saturday, September 24 (12-2pm), the two DC-based artists will stage their own battle of the sexes, competing head-to-head in a two-person sprint triathlon during the (e)merge art fair.

At the Capitol Skyline Hotel, Cornelius and Cudlin will engage in three very real tests of physical and mental stamina: They'll both swim 750m in the hotel pool, pedal 20k on stationary bikes, and run a 5k on treadmills. Immediately after the competition, in a pomp-filled ceremony held poolside, a champion will be declared; a loser will be shamed; and gold and silver medals will be awarded.

Kathryn Cornelius and Jeffry Cudlin, photo by Max CookAbout the Athletes (that's them to the left, photo courtesy of Max Cook):

The competitors could not be more physically different: Nearly a foot in height and 50 pounds in weight separates them.

Cornelius is, of course, a woman; stands 5' 6 3/4" tall; and weighs somewhere between 118 and 121 lbs--depending on whether or not she's had her daily constitutional.

Cudlin, meanwhile, we think is a male (usually); stands 6' 4 1/2" tall; and weighs between 171 and 180--depending on his cupcake intake.

The two also sit on opposite ends of the food chain: For the past 14 years, Cudlin, in line with his insect-like (stick insect) appearance, has eaten a strict vegan diet, eschewing meat, dairy, eggs, and all other animal products in favor of grains, legumes, and vegetables. Cornelius, meanwhile, eats a strict Paleo diet, avoiding grains, legumes, and dairy in favor of meat, nuts, seeds, some fruit and little sugar.

In addition to totally dominating one another, Cornelius and Cudlin aim to counter the stereotype of artists as weak, non-athletic sensitives who are notoriously bad at sports.

About the Competition:

The "Triathlon of the Muses" attempts to insert the conventions of popular sporting spectacle into the structure of the art fair—replacing one form of competition, costume-wearing, and role-playing with another. In this way the piece provides a more clearly legible analog for transactions both prior to and within the fair. It also presents a symbolic battle between artists of opposing genders for the same limited resources of audience, patronage, and cultural capital.

The performance's title is a nod to Pierre de Coubertin's "Pentathlon of the Muses," a series of art competitions typically held at the Olympic games during the first half of the 20th century. In the Pentathlon, the sport-inspired work of amateur artists would be judged by arts professionals and other dignitaries. Gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded.

Watch the pre-competition drama unfold:

Team Cornelius (Twitter training log) -
Team Cudlin (Twitter training log) -

For more details...
Triathlon of the Muses (Performance info) -
Triathlon of the Muses (RSVP) -!/event.php?eid=231500870235589

(e)merge art fair -

No comments: