Ann Liv Young: First Responder

A loyal reader sent in this email about an event that took place at the opening of the Center for Performance Research…

OMG, C.C.!

Do you believe what happened Saturday night? I’m still recovering.

I’m hoping you’ll post my account of events, even though I‘m sure you’ll do your own.


So WTF did you think of Ann Liv Young’s performance at the opening of CPR?!?!?!? You know, before the shit went down!!!!

At first, I was totally into her blond Crystal Gayle wig, although I think CG’s hair A.) was real, and B.) went all the way down to her ankles. Bitch could have used them as leg warmers. At any rate, it was a nice homage, if you ask me.

I also thought Isabel Lewis’ fuscia top and purple pant suit was hideously chic! The white Lee Press-On fingernails really added something trashy to the whole ensemble. And Guerrero was reticent as usual, but I’ve always thought he was kinda cute.

So like, when ALY started lip syncing to her own awful unaccompanied rendition of Boyz2Men’s “End of the Road,” I was like DYING! It was like the worst thing you’ve ever heard! For a minute I tried to imagine some aliens from the future studying our culture and watching her perform and being like, “This is what people listened to?” But nobody left. Everybody was totally into it. Then some tall skinny guy leaned over to me and said, “You know, we’re all enabling her.” I guess we were, but it was hot, and I was totally into it. And the song was totally apropos of the dedication to her dead dog. I totally didn’t believe her when she said the dog was in the box. Umm. I was kind of wrong, wasn’t I?

So, after that, and then after the “spoken word” which was hilarious, and I thought it was amazing the she pointed out that spoken word was “popular in the nineties”!!! I was thinking, what the fuck does any of this have to do with her dog? And I was kind of getting disappointed, thinking that, after having her baby that she’d gone to the dark side and was totally ready to start making safe shit.

Alz I can say, is when she suddenly turned and started tearing her clothes off, my heart nearly stopped. It was so nihilistic and terribly inevitable, I knew I was helpless; helpless to watch. Helpless to stop it. So I just let it happen! And what song was that? The beat was so fierce. And when Isabel sprayed whipped cream all over her, I was like, Yes. And her dance was f-ing ridiculous! She was really into it, like the kind of bad dancing you just let yourself do when you’re home alone and just need to freak.

You know, all of this I can handle. I can handle seeing her muff, and Isabel’s muff, and Guerrero’s cock-n-balls, etc., but when I saw Guerrero open the lid on the box and pull out the plastic bag, I KNEW what was going to happen. So, at first thought you might not think of having your favorite dog’s ashes (which didn’t “die”, BTW, she killed it! Or had it “put down”) thrown all over your naked, Cool Whipped body as a way of paying homage to the pet, but, you know, this really worked. It was like a modern day Salome!!!! I couldn’t stop watching. I mean, I was really feeling it. It was emotional in a way I was NOT expecting.

So when the PETA protesters busted in, I didn’t know what to do!

At first, I thought “Oh, this is all part of the performance.” I mean, I wouldn’t put it past her, and why would PETA want to protest what she was doing anyway? It’s not like she was fucking a dog, which she might do, yeah, but, come on!

Even when Guerrero jumped up from behind his mini drum kit to punch one of them, I was like, damn, this is super realistic. But when I saw Isabel duck off to the side, I noticed John Jasperse totally freaking out behind the audience, I knew something wasn’t right! And when I looked back to the stage, Ann Liv was totally scratching the shit out of one of the girl protesters who had thrown red paint all over her.

When I saw that, I tried my best to intervene. I jumped out of my seat, but tripped over Miguel Gutierrez, who was seated on the floor in front of me. When I looked up, other people were trying to help. Miki Wesson had grabbed one of the protesters and was dragging him out by his collar. And Carla Peterson cracked off the end of a beer bottle and was threatening to “cut” pretty much anyone around her.

When all the PETA freaks had been chased out, Ann Liv stood up, and she had this HUGE cut on her knee. She was bleeding majorly. I felt super bad for her. Some woman in the audience offered her a bottle of water, which she used to rinse off the dog ash and paint from her face and clean the wound. Everybody was really cool about helping her get her things together. But fuck, it was like total chaos. I hope she sues the shit out of those assholes. I’m usually all for militant animal rights intervention, but this was just silly. I wonder if it was just a rival group of performers who were attempting to sabotage her show. Or maybe it was a right wing conspiracy to overthrow Bushwick. Or maybe I’m making all of this up. Or maybe I’m making some of this up. Or maybe I’m Ann Liv Young. Or maybe I’m you. Who knows? All I know is, I think it has something to do with art.



  1. No Comments? Trackbacks?
    Was anyone even there?
    Did this performance actually happen?
    If it did, I’d like to think Ann was in on something with PETA or anticipated their response… from the day she killed her dog. What an artist, that girl. Instead it seems to have been a rather anticlimactic end for what sounds like only a modest spectacle. Still, wish I was there.

  2. […] go ALV… and thanks to cc for allowing us boring Californians to share in the joy of dance — […]

  3. Hey Justin-

    A performance did happen. I was there. Some of the details of this account seem not to have happened; some are precisely accurate. And I think that’s what the writer was going for. With ALY, who knows what’s true and what’s not? And how far would she go?

    I thought her performance became visceral, and Dionysian. As for PETA, I don’t think their involvement was official, or very real.


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