Northern Iowan

Vertigo showcases performance art

AMELIA DUAX, Staff Writer

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The performances at UNI’s bi-annual Vertigo event drew in a large crowd of students on Thursday evening.

Students involved in performance art classes use Vertigo as an opportunity to show off their skills by setting up their own unique performances in UNI’s Gallery of Art in the Kamerick Art Building.

Vertigo attracted the public, professors and students from a variety of majors. Elementary education major Alexis Bowers was one of the students in attendance at Vertigo.

“It gave me a little bit of anxiety because of how loud and how many people were there,” Bowers said. “But the exhibits were interesting; I’ve never seen something like that before.”

Bowers said that she participated in the interactive performances at Vertigo, such as the “Give a Secret-Take a Secret” performance. Students would anonymously write a secret onto a notecard and give it to a person inside a black box and then receive another person’s secret in return.

Another student in attendance was art major Kailie Hesner, a freshman at UNI.

“I thought Vertigo was very interesting; it was not what I expected,” Hesner said. “There were a lot of different types of pieces that I didn’t necessarily expect to see there. I didn’t expect to see a lot of performances where people were just sitting and not doing anything. It was more for people to just look at.”

Hesner said she was surprised to see performances in which the performer would walk around the gallery instead of staying in a single area. Hesner also participated in the interactive performances.

“I participated in one where a girl was sitting in a dress and had a book in her hand, and would excessively put on lipstick,” Hesner said. “You could sit next to her on a bench as she read you a page in her book. Then she would tear the page out and kiss the page to leave a lipstick print and gave the paper to you.”

Sophomore Emily Lovell also got involved in the lipstick-print performance, in addition to a few other interactive performances.

“I like how you could interact with the acts,” Lovell said. “I did the hula-hooping one and the one where the girl kisses the page. I also did the give a secret and take a secret.”

According to Lovell, one performance in particular involved a girl who would rip a paper from her notebook and scream as she threw it against a wall.

“The screaming was a little hard to ignore as I walked around the gallery,” Lovell said. “But I found the performances quite interesting overall.”

Ken Hall, an art professor at UNI, attended Vertigo as well.

“This particular Vertigo had maybe the largest crowd that I’ve seen before. I think it’s one of the things that the art department does that really draws a crowd from outside the department and really all across the campus,” Hall said. “It’s really developed a reputation across the campus as being a spectacle and something worth coming out to see.”

According to Hall, there were different levels of performances that happened at Vertigo.

“Some of them are a lot more subtle and you have to spend more time with it,” Hall said. “You have to wait until a half hour or an hour has passed before you see a result. Other ones are more ‘in your face’ or ‘in your ears,’ like with the shrieking girl performance.”

Performance art professor Aypryl Pippert, who also attended Vertigo, stated that she was proud of the performers, some of whom were her former students.

“I am so proud every semester,” Pippert said. “Every time is different, and I’m always surprised.”

“It’s great to watch them mature through the work,” Pippert said. “They always want to come back. There are students in this show who are alumni; they’ve graduated and went away but they returned. Who doesn’t want to be a part of something that’s powerful and amazing?”

The next Vertigo will be open in the spring to students, faculty and the public with a new group of performance art students locked in cases. Pippert said everyone who attends will be able to experience a “whole new dynamic of Vertigo.”

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Vertigo showcases performance art