Now Publicly Accessible: Jaimie Warren


08/20/10

Something completely insane is happening in Kansas City. A big "Whoop Dee Doo," if you will, since that's what Jaimie Warren calls her public access program. Performed in front of a live audience, the show is a manic blend of performance art, raver weirdness and kids show that would leave Paul Reubens squirming with discomfort in the theater. "It's a kids show," Warren says, "But can your kid dance with drag queens or have a pancake eat-off with homeless people? It just depends on what kind of parent you are..."

Well, and what kind of kid, too. Luckily for Warren, Kansas City is full of kids (and grownups) who are willing to participate in her madcap amusements. "Kansas City feels like a really unique place to work," she says. "Because everyone wants to see the city make a name for itself. It's super un-sexy here, of course, so we have invented our own sense of humor that we can't tell if it's funny or not, or if it just makes no sense at all." Actually, rather serious is the city's commitment to the arts, which is manifested in the gleaming new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, in addition to the longstanding Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. "Kansas City has free studio spaces, tons of artist grants, and initiatives like the Urban Culture Project/Charlotte Street Foundation," Warren adds. "[The city] really gives a ton of financial and professional support to emerging artists."

Those looking to keep a safe distance from "Whoop Dee Doo" are in peril, as Warren will be performing and exhibiting a series of self-portraits at The Hole gallery, for an exhibition opening August 26. Headlined by the performer/filmmaker/musician Cody Critcheloe, the exhibition will feature a "BOY" sculpture from Critcheloe's ongoing Ssion project, as well as a pop-up shop from designer Peggy Noland. For the unsuspecting, Critcheloe will be performing at the Standard Hotel in early September and Noland will be showing at the National Arts Club on September 8. Warren's collection of "Civil War re-enactors and Celtic bagpipers and Christian mimes" will be online and on public access anytime you need it.

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