Reed Seifer — Some Performance Necessary

Feb 11, 2019 4:08AM


Shirt by Parke and Ronan, New York

Hey Reed, We’re happy to have a video platform to share some of your performance artwork with our audience of collectors at Artsy. We last saw you “on stage” at The Armory Show in 2010 asking people what you could help them forget with your aroma-conceptual-performance “spray to forget”! Can you talk to us about what’s going on in your new work?

Ha, you have a really good memory. In more ways now I am asking myself that question about forgetting! In these under-a-minute videos I’m acting in moments from imaginary films…you might even say it is a webseries where I am exploring different characters and accents, memories and nostaglia — from a personae of well-spoken gentleman speaking in the trans-Atlantic diction of old Hollywood to a Brooklyn B-bro rapping about Yoko Ono. Amongst others.

are these characters telling auto-biographical stories?

For sure, I’m telling a truth.

I mean, instead of helping other people forget their problems these days I am resolving my own. It’s that truth. But, I’m doing it “on stage.” And I still like to get a laugh. I mean, when I asked most people if I could help them forget something I got a laugh. Now I’m laughing too! But I know the works are bitter-sweet, and in these short dialogues I’m also diving into reoccurant themes of narcissism which were heavily resonating for me at the time they were filmed.

Also, I love having a reason to put together a good high-stylin’ outfit, and I love ... maybe being a mensstyle influencer. My dad worked in the garment business and style was seriously important to both my parents. As an adult I appreciate this was a rarity and a gift. I spent many childhood weekends at Saks Fifth Avenue…

We definitely think you are rocking those looks! Can you elaborate a little more of what you mean by “reoccurant themes of narcissism"?

I’m exploring those themes in my own biography and as someone who had some traction in and around the “artworld” professionally. I’m playing around with those stereotypes of the self-obsessed gallerist or celebrity artist or whatever. At the end of the day whomever it is I think you’re looking at people, narcissists, who behave a certain way because they are so empty, so broken in some way, so in lack of love —especially self-love —that you can’t help but feel sorrow for them. Well, I should only speak for myself. I can’t help … Of course, human nature is to strike back when we are hurt. But, hurt people hurt people because they are hurt. So it is a vicious cycle, with insight being key to change, forgiveness.

is forgiveness an art?


There is a consistent influence of Psychology throughout your work. youR work has EVEN been reviewed in psychology today.

Could we say that today you’re transmuting pain into humor or empathy as Psychologial performance art?

We could — you can! You can call it whatever you see it. If you call from a blocked number I am not gonna pick up however.

You heard it here folks. Thanks Reed. We’ve got some more Reed Seifer pieces including the sort you can buy as part of his show, Hurt People Hurt People right here at Machamux Gallery.

You can follow Reed and machamux gallery on instagram.