|MICHAEL SMITH |
BABY IKKI BIRTHDAY PARTY
| Wednesday, June 18, 2008 |
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
For the first time in more than a decade, Michael Smith will stage a birthday party for his legendary character, Baby Ikki, in New York City at EAI. Conceived as a mute, ambiguous character fixed neither by age nor gender, Baby Ikki is an archetype with an unclear mission, onto which spectators project their own interpretations. During the performance, the perpetually 18-month-old Baby Ikki, played by Michael Smith, will celebrate his 33rd birthday.
During the birthday party, guests will mingle, play party games, and become active participants in Smith's performance. All of the time-honored birthday traditions from American childhood will be brought into play. Cake and refreshments will be served, guests will sing "Happy Birthday" to Baby Ikki and finally presents will be opened.
At times comedic, at times deeply unsettling, Baby Ikki breaks through social boundaries. Smith's diaper-clad character is much more than an exercise in infantilism. In character, Smith becomes an 18-month-old baby. He takes on all of the traits that dominate that stage of life. Lacking morals, consideration, and caution, Baby Ikki possesses an abundance of curiosity and selfishness and has an insatiable appetite for attention. Baby Ikki is a cranky explorer wandering in a new world. Not yet able to speak, frustration drives the baby to attempt communication using any means possible.
Party guests are welcome to bring age-appropriate gifts for Baby Ikki that will be incorporated into the performance. Refreshments will be served.
The retrospective Mike's World: Michael Smith & Joshua White (and other collaborators) opened at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas in 2007, and is currently on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia until August 3, 2008.