In July, Anya Liftig returned to Atlanta for her most physically challenging performance to date. “I’m a Groucho Marxist” drew from the history of literally and socially imposed barriers in Atlanta’s past. During this three-hour durational performance, Liftig challenged herself to cross a barricade while blindfolded and partially bound and licking peanut butter as she went. As with most of Liftig’s work, the built-in physical hardship was integral to the project, and this work in particular addressed the difficulty in crossing boundaries.
The title “I’m a Groucho Marxist” was a slogan painted on the walls of the Sorbonne by members of the Situationist International during the May 1968 student uprisings in Paris. Situationist International (SI) believed that the history of a city, the story of its successes, failures, and collective life, was essential to modern existence. Fighting against the forces of gentrification, SI held that citizens’ lives were enhanced by an awareness of the events, places, and people that came before.
Travel + parking: In addition to street parking, the location was easily accessible from both the Inman Park/Reynoldstown and the King Memorial MARTA stations.
The Good Food Truck and the King of Pops were on site with project inspired menues.
Malina Rodriguez -Technical Director and Lighting Design Keif Schleifer- Construction Design Jason Butcher- Sound Engineer and Design Blake Williams, Proper Medium – Audio Visual and Documentation
Historic Tour of the Old Fourth Ward Tuesday, June 26, 7:30 pm Meet at the project site @ 660 Airline Street, NE
Atlanta historian Cliff Kuhn provided a walking tour of the Historic Fourth Ward, site of the “I’m a Groucho Marxist” perfomance piece and installation. The tour explored over a century’s evolution of the Fourth Ward in its complexity, looking at key events, developments, and indviduals. Topics included the emergence of Auburn Avenue as a hub of African-American community institutions; the Great Fire of 1917; the impact of highway development; the politics of historic memory and interpretation; and recent gentrification.
Artist Talk: Thursday, June 28 Reception: 7:00 pm Talk 7:30 pm Whitespace Gallery
Artist Anya Liftig discussed the research and work that has led to the creation of this project, including her exploration of Atlanta’s history.