[-empyre-] Artwork #13: Kenneth Tam: Breakfast in Bed

Lee Tusman leetusman at gmail.com
Fri Jul 27 03:08:36 AEST 2018

This video is a 2 minute excerpt from the 32 minute version of 'Breakfast
In Bed <https://kennethtam.info/Breakfast-in-Bed>', which I was able to
view at a museum. The text accompanying the video explains it was inspired
by the "various activity-based groups that men create for socializing" and
that the actions on screen are part of a mock men's group engaging in
'staged play.'

The excerpt starts with the men mostly shirtless and attempting to tag each
other with paint. It transitions to a section where one man compliments
another, and there is another compliment section near the end. In their
attempts to be genuine and compassionate, they appear embarrassed to be
intimate. They are almost unable to compliment each other, instead pointing
out their physical features as complimentary behavior rather than any
laudable actions by the men. In the next scene, the men are in a circle
dance, a more traditional community practice in Europe and the Middle East
but relatively uncommon in the US. They wear bells from their waist in a
possibly absurd phallic gesture. They are smiling, enjoying the game. I
thought of children engaging in the American "Ring-a-round the rosie"
schoolyard dance/song. They are momentarily transformed.

Overall, the video triggers thoughts on the absence of public male
tenderness in American society. There seems to be no place for this kind of
vulnerability, and 'Breakfast in Bed' reflects this issue and shows
occasional moments of breaking through this barrier.

On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 12:01 AM, Daniel Lichtman <danielp73 at gmail.com>

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> And I this work was suggested for inclusion by guest moderator Lee Tusman!
> On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 11:00 PM Daniel Lichtman <danielp73 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Kenneth Tam
>> Breakfast in Bed
>> Video link: https://kennethtam.info/Breakfast-in-Bed (two minute excerpt)
>> Kenneth Tam is an artist who uses sculpture and video to explore his
>> interests, which include Abercrombie and Fitch, public restrooms, and the
>> films of Tsai Ming-Liang. Recent solo shows include the Minneapolis
>> Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge and
>> Night Gallery, Los Angeles.
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> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
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