SHOW: How to Make Potato Salad
GROUP: Aleksandra Berczynski
ATTENDED: Wed., Sept. 11, 7 p.m., Philadelphia International Institute Gallery
CLOSES: Thurs., Sept. 12, 7 p.m.
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: “Throughout this unique, minimalist one-women show, Berczynski's Potato Salad, the process of food preparation and eating, is very emotional, but at the end it comforts and connects physically and symbolically.”
WE THINK: When a woman offers to seductively make you potato salad, how can you say no? This relatively short, one-woman show by Aleksandra Berczynski presents a woman in a cleavage-bearing polka-dotted dress and pink pumps doing the whole “domestic goddess thing” by going through the steps of making potato salad, and literally making potato salad for everyone in attendance of the event.
As Berczynski progresses through her performance, she does all of the preparation for making the potato salad, which does not seem too difficult or exciting, but she manages to bring appeal, if only sex appeal, to the otherwise mundane task. Throughout the performance she peels the potatoes, cuts the other ingredients, and finishes by mixing it all together. Her constant commentary of the preparation of the potatoes (“you drive me as crazy as my date will”), the onions (“just peel back that layer, show me who you are inside”), and even of stirring the potato salad upon completion (“gentle, gentle, like a lady”), had a huge cheesiness factor to it, but proved to be comical. Who knew that potato salad could be so provocative?
Although the seductiveness of the show was attention-grabbing, it was a bit excessive. How to Make Potato Salad proved to be mildly entertaining, but was not the emotional experience that was expected from the description of the event.
By the end of the 20-minute show, the potato salad is presented and served to those in attendance. The performance itself was amusing, but the potato salad needed even more improvement. Potatoes, pickles, onions, apples, and mayonnaise are a kind of weird combination, if you ask me.
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