Kansas City’s David Ford has been creating lots of heat with the national focus on his extensive “meta-theatre” performances. He’s not even close to being finished – why should he? It’s only been 20 years.
Blair Schulman wanted more than a good story, he wanted an experience. He got what he was looking for from one of Kansas City’s top performance artists.
David Ford’s mysterious orchestration of artists, musicians, artisans and thrill-seekers have begun transforming Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District in cryptic, provocative and at times disruptive ways. Where did it all start for Blair? He writes:
“The first time I went to a David Ford “meta-theatre” performance was in the mid-2000s at a warehouse scheduled for rehabilitation in an industrial Kansas City neighborhood still teetering between sexy and dangerous. In the melee of performance and speed was a man chopping onions at the entrance. You couldn’t enter the space without passing the man slicing hundreds of stinky yellow onions with a huge machete at lightning speed. You either encountered this man, plus the stink and sweat that hung around him like a shroud, or you turned around and went home. I chose to enter and allowed this moment to become transcendent.
“Ford is very good at waiting, knowing the right moment will eventually make itself known. It is this patience and perseverance that strengthens the core of the Kansas City art community. We have time, space, geography and good people that stand alongside one another. The mentality here is horizontal, rather than vertical. And if one has to fry eggs or answer phones for someone else in order to fund a project, the mutual support is present, encouraging one another side-by-side.”
Images by Blair Schulman