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Nobody Cares About The Naked Person On The Floor At This Art School Gathering

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One of the cool things about art school (I went, I have the loans to prove it) is that the campus is a big wellspring of... just about anything. The paradoxical downside is that, when anything goes, that "anything" sort of blends into the background.

Case in point: last week, this video of a gathering at CalArts perfectly depicted how blasé students and faculty can be when a striking piece of performance art is happening right in front of them:

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At least, we hope that is a work of performance art, and not a bloodied corpse that's being overlooked at a faculty mixer. There were theories about what, exactly, this was. One person offered this take that only Michiko Kakutani would find funny:

And a more practical (plausible?) theory:

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The original poster asked around and found out that scene was actually a protest, not just some class assignment:

Though the poster couldn't get more information on what, exactly, was being protested. LAist called CalArt's School of Film/Video to ask if they had a comment on the video, and if they were aware of a protest, but they said they had no information at the moment.

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Of course, the video sparked a lot of derision targeted at art school, something that the poster seems to regret:

And hey, a lot of bonkers stuff happens at art school, OK. But CalArts is one of Southern California's great institutions of higher education, producing notable alumni such as Andrea Bowers and the late Mike Kelley, both L.A.-centric artists. It's also helping usher in more women into the male-dominated animation industry (in 2015, 71% of the animation student body was female). And just last December, the school named musician and teacher Ravi Rajan as its first Asian-American president. Which is all to say that there are a lot of cool things going on at CalArts, and art school really is about what you make of it (as long as you can afford the tuition).

[Update: 5/20/17]

Eliane Lima, who'd recently graduated from CalArts, told LAist that she was the artist in the video. Lima, a filmmaker, said that the scene was indeed a performance piece, and not an act of protest. "I can't control what people say about it. One person will say one thing, and another will say something else. It's about your reaction to it," said Lima.

[H/T: Hyperallergic]