Art Historical Reference



In this performance, My character, BENAVENTE, poorly “covers” a performance he believes is of Art Historical note. It is soon revealed to be a scene from the late 90’s teen comedy “She’s All That” in which the main character is forced to invent without notice a performance art piece to impress a girl. While performance art is satirized in the film, it is also shown as a successful means of art and communication between the two characters and the audience viewing the movie. For many this was their first positive experience with performance art.

ART HISTORICAL REFERENCE on one level is played as a satire on the overuse of art historical reference as a shorthand for viewer understanding and acceptance in contemporary art. It also serves as reevaluation of  this performance and Freddie Prinze Jr. At the time that this scene was shot, Freddie Prinze Jr. was a burgeoning young movie star who also was carrying the weight of being the son of the great Freddie Prinze. The first Latino to have his own nationally televised sitcom “Chico and the Man. “Having never known his father (who committed suicide at the height of his own fame and societal pressures), Freddie Prinze Jr. has been forced to deal with these internalized pressures on his own. The performance doubles as a exorcising of this tremendous weight.