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Istvan Kantor + Warhol Show = Art Scene Hilarity

2006_8_3istvan.jpgTorontoist got tipped off that Governor General Award winning artist Istvan Kantor was arrested today at the AGO’s Andy Warhol show for staging a blood-filled performance. The exhibit, which shows a darker side to Warhol, has been up for a month so we think it’s about time that Kantor showed up. The performance artist has been banned from several museums including the National Gallery of Canada. A part of us wished we could’ve been there, this is from the e-mail we received:

From what I have learned, he and his friends poured blood on the floor and then proceeded to roll around in it. Istevan (sic) followed this up by standing in front of a painting stripping off his clothes and holding a vial of blood attached to his penis. He then proceeded to read from his manifesto. At this point, he was escorted out by the police. Rightfully so, some of the visitors were very disturbed!


  • rek

    Oh no! Visitors were disturbed! Let’s hold their hand forever.

  • Jameso

    So as long as read from my manifesto it’s art, right?

  • Jonathan

    He’s always made me think of that Magic card Uncle Istvan.

  • Sheryl

    That’s a bit old, isn’t it?
    Sounds like someone is longing for 1992 when that kind of thing was actually considered a “statement”, and not just the act of a tedious has-been looking for attention.

  • Badur

    When i heard about the Warhol exhibit opening in Toronto i actually thought about istavan. I expected him to make his “statement” on opening night. suprised he waited this long.

  • Gianna

    Who the hell is Itsvan?! I am disgusted that he would disturb the sanctity of art!

  • Boy Reporter

    Gianna…. please tell me you’re joking. The sanctity of art?! It ain’t the Sistine Chapel.

  • Alexander Braun

    well, we met at the grange park at around 11:30 a.m. istvan gave me and richard twenty dollars each for the eighteen dollars tickets at the ago warhol exhibit. we went in around 11:40 a.m. and for next twenty five minutes were wondering the three rooms appreciating the warhol genious. while i am waiting for istvan to remove his red baseball hat, an agreed signal to start our “deadly gift” performance. the security guards were all over the place, at least one in each room, and at some point i wondered if we even would manage to do it, since the gards acted a bit suspissious towards us, sometimes following us around or sterring at us like we are warhol himself back from the dead. there were several videographers and photographers implanted incognito spreadout in the crowd. at 12 p.m. we gathered in the front room where the entrance to the show is, which was considerably packed by this time, to my surprise, with around fifty people, mostly young women, and we took our positions, myself being in front of the “couch” with a movie projecting on the wall, showing good looking people having sex, mainly homosexual, richard is positionned on the other side of the room by the elvis piece, and istvan at the centre in the thickness of the crowd. at 12:05 p.m. i saw istvan remove his red hat, and with the feeling of releive, i immediatelly dropped my already unbuttoned shirt sleave shirt, while with my feet removing losely tied sneakers, no socks, then off were the black nylon track pants, and, whuala!, i have crashed on the floor convulsing naked like a broken robot. the guards rashed towards me, i heard someone suggest that it might be an eppelepsy seassure, another voice said that its unlikely, since i got undressed first, and that this is probably part of the show. then i saw richard leap into the air shortly followed by a roaring thunder of his muscular naked body crashing on the polished wood floor and starting scream and make all sorts of noises. the guards then went off towards richard, when they got there, istvan, already naked and positioned himself in front of the big red electric chairs, started to orate his dedication of his piece to the ago called “deadly gift” and then emptied a vile of his blood on his chest and smeared it all over his body and face, then he has spread his legs and raised his hands effectivelly becoming a bloody x, while holding another vile full of his blood in his left hand. meanwhile richard and i were convulsing and screaming our way on the floor towards istvan. the guards, now looking a bit tired, rushed towards istvan, in horor, screaming at him to get away from the artwork, probably immagining the worst, however istvan has promptly reassured them that he has no intention of damaging art and that his performance is enthused by the spirit of andy warhol, whom he has actually met i might add, and other great many artists, the list of which i then read from a paper istvan gave me, after i have finished singing “international” in russian. istvan then asked to speak with the gallery director, who then showed up, and after a breif negotiation, istvan passed to him his manifesto with a vile of his blood to be placed into the ago’s permanent collection. after the police arrived, they gave me and istvan tickets and all three of us got banned from the ago for two years. thats in breif. there is lots of photos and video photage.
    alexander braun aka sasha.
    Idiosyntactix Strategic Arts & Sciences Alliance
    p.s. i made a point of screaming for “more funding for the artists” and “art matters” while convulsing naked on the ago’s nice floor.
    toronto . canada
    04 august 2006
    - 30 -

  • Jonathan

    Thanks for that great recap, Alexander. Is there anywhere on the Internet where I might be able to find videos or photographs of the performance?

  • Alexander Braun

    thanx. i did my best trying to describe what went on in there. there were several girls with the video and photo cameras who have captured the great many dialogs that took place. at some point the gallery stuff were saying that because of the copyright concerns the girls should give up their tapes, it is also forbidden to bring them inside the exhibit, but, fortunatelly, the girls are smarter than that and, from what i’ve herd, slipped the tapes into their undies, replacing them with the new tapes. apparently istvan is working on the photage, clips of which will probably appear on his website alternativelly, i will link it from my page when it is availabe. cheers, sasha.