poster for the exhibit "Dumb Kunst"
window installation
Front window istallation of artifacts from past Anti-Friend Hut perfromances. with a video collection of archived performance tapes.

suitcase paintings by Patrick CorriganSuitcase paintings by Patrick Corrigan
(Clog Wornago)

Dumb Kunst:
non-works by
Anti-Friend Hut
April 1 - 30, 2005

A Portland performance art history review sorta' amounts to a blip in the radar, or even a skeptical eyebrow raise that begs to wonder, "what performance art scene?". One might answer with this-or-that, so-and-so poetry reading accompanied by a watery ensemble, or rumors of someome doing something with meat products at the art school, or simply stare blankly, as we all tend to do when confronted with defining performance art. While certainly there's always been a marvelous tendency in Portland to fill in the blanks between theatre, music, and art, like most urban environments however, this little urchin tends to operate in relative obscurity. However one might recall back along (in those turbulent days of the late 1990's), a particular troupe of barbarians, perhaps witnessed at the Free Street Taverna or the Fine Arts Theatre, or even a sidewalk or two, in front of now-defunct art galleries... a crude, ramshackle Rube Goldbergian trio they were: blasting and sawing through an unintelligible riot of homemade instruments, refrigerator-box costumes, waving posters bearing incoherent slogans, and accompanying this grand mess with the occasional use of potpouri airfreshener or a runaway lawnmower. So whether a dim memory to some or a clangorous duck-and-cover for others, one champion to the Portland performance art world was this cacophony trio known as, Anti-Friend Hut. Uniting under the cause of art, or rather, lifting art from under its sleepy eyelids, this mischieveous threesome, donned fancy capes and even fancier pseudonyms: Gaylord Pasternak, Clog Wornago, and Reverend Crank Sturgeon. Sneaking into rockclubs or art galleries as means to perpetuate their craft, the Hut professed a mission of anti-friendliness: the idea that a grenade or two wasn't such a bad thing, if lobbed at notions of cultural obedience or art as an elitist occupation. By stitching together bits of1960's Happenings, guerilla theatre, and tumultuous noise art, the schematic was never the same thing twice. Anti-Friend Hut was in some sense, a jack of all trades: conducting noise weddings, recreating the Olympics, or striking up an elephant hunt parade on Peak's Island... resonating throughout its performances that these things should not only be inserted at random liberty onto the landscape, but encased in a celebration of the absurd and pessimistic glee.
From the years 1997 through 2002, Anti-Friend heralded the times with a "sound for sore eyes" ethos. The rumbling din of found objects like amplified birdcages, noise-making baby toys, snowshovels as drumsticks, and stationary bikes pedaling mounted LP's, served often as a visual pun to the established idea of musical instrumentation. Elaborate costuming and headgear also accomplished this task, from Gaylord's funnel helmet (with a cymbal attached) to Crank's "testicle head" (a balls'y looking head with a hidden violin). And as important as the audio barrage was the need to address the audience. Instead of the typical deadpan approach of ignoring the observer (that one encounters with similar avant garde events), the Hut would counter this by festooning the viewers with free-art giveaways, offering them a view of the performance (and perhaps its psychology) through countless handouts and pamphlets, or even inviting them to participate by shouting along, or ruining the event with a snowball fight. Through all the junk-noise cacophony, costumes, actions, and occasional foodgroup (for instance, offering freshly microwaved Little Debbie Snack Cakes or sips of mayonnaise), one could infer that all of this was somehow under the umbrella of a larger tutorial or underlying theme, a cumbersome plotline or psuedo-science lecture; challenging the audience to make sense of things through incongruent word associations, cultural reference points, and bad instructions. And so, Anti-Friend Hut once again arises from its frozen glacier this April, to bid all welcome to come and join in and mull and muck in the collective calumny, housed under one roof at Ubu Studio. Picking pieces from their individual collections, the show will be an amalgamation of histories (dead and gone), manifestoes and classified ads, personal plops (in the form of collage, assemblage, and botched cartography), creatures housed inside suitcases, and the portents of things to come (more glaciers, more slag-heap ziggurats along the waterfront, more Dolph Lungren revivals). Mayonnaise will be served, there'll be plenty of pamphlets to take home with you, and perhaps even a recreation of a historical performance involving Gaylord walking the plank.
-Reverend Crank Sturgeon, March 2005

 

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Read the mind boggling history or Portland's foremost dada performance group
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Clog Wornago on the roof of ubu studio
Clog, mentally preparing to leap of the roof of ubu studio onto the cardboard 'art condo'.

Gaylord, Crank Sturgeon and Clog on the roof of ubu studio

bookfucklarceny  flag from past Anti-Friend Hut Performance"Dumb Kunst" exhibit photo

 

Anti-Friend Hut Performance timeline-history

back to top Introduction19971998 1999200020012002

Anti-Friend Hut In brief, it should be noted that there's a blurring of the lines as far as the "who" and "what" (and all of that) goes. Back in the wee days, the Hut started out as a punch-and-judy duet between Reverend Crank Sturgeon and Clog the Cardboard Robot. They'd long been friends and hated each other's work, so they decided to end the feud by making a movie called, "Some Birds Who Cannot Fly". It was to star the two of them, fighting over those slag heaps out by the interstate, and whoever won, well, that would be the film, all said and done. However as things go, this never left the storyboards when quite out of the blue, it was decided to be more fun to adopt an orphan from Westbrook named, Gaylord Pasternak. Gaylord's only crime at the time was then running drugs under the front of a mafia-owned headshop in the outskirts of Saugus. Even though he was well past breast feeding, Gaylord's role into the duo-cum-trio, would thereafter be the stuff of legend. As a family though, sometimes only just two of them would appear in public as the Hut. So the following document makes note of this, in sets of two's and three's. Also on occasion, there'd be an even larger add-on, calling on the additions of cousins, nephews, daughters-in-laws, and cape-making girlfriends. So truly, while singular soothsayer magistrates they were to be reckoned with, one third of each: this Clog, Crank, and Gaylord... the GRAND family included an ensemble cast featuring the Mystic Out-Bop Review, William Goat, Southernman, Jay, Id m Theft Able, Shea D. Mowat, and by no deliberate choice, often the audience. One final note. The recent years (2003 to present) have yet to be properly archived, but as the crow flies it's been rumored that Gaylord has infiltrated a local insurance sales coordination society. Meanwhile Clog is busy banging on birdcages ad nauseum with some freakin' Buddhists or something, and Crank is now less popular due to the availability of Oxy Contin. Oh, but time will tell.
kisses, Rev. Sturgeon, C.

1997
"Anti-first", The Clog an' Crank debut! Don't remember the show except opening up for a punk band and some lady asking us what our name was. We hadn't decided on it yet, exactly, as it was a toss-up of four names: Anti-Friend Hut, Blampy Stamp, Brontosphere, and (my favorite) Portable Man Boy Lyceum. So I gave her the last one, soliciting a wide eyed "could you repeat that?" Zootz, Portland, ME, maybe 06.97
"Saturday Matinee" the jazz of hitting each other with amplified sticks, Clog & Crank trundled their routine to a larger jungle of the the-then aptly titled, "Cracktown, USA". Noted as being Anti-Friend Hut's 2nd ever performance, though the name still hadn't stuck yet. I think it was still under the "Blampy Stamp" name. RRRecords, Lowell, MA 06.21.97

1998
"Clog vs Crank" By this point the Anti-Friend Hut name began to stick. And we were all about the sticks. Again relegated to opening up for some punk bands, the show was mostly just an amplified fight, ending with the now-famous tragic death scene. Free St. Taverna 01.24.98
"Voice of the Beehive" Group art-show w/ Clog & Crank that begat the idea of plotting Hut happenings on the sidewalk.... Pleasant Street Collective, Portland, ME 04.98
"Requiem for the Beehive" The highlight of these sidewalk events! Bidding fond adieu to their exhibit, this performance featured the unforgettable introduction of Gaylord Pasternak. Wearing a far-too-large metal funnel w/ a cymbal affixed, our new surly third proceeded to toss burning LP's into the street while Clog & Crank swatted, cuffed, and swore alot with black plastic pope suits. Pleasant St Collective, Portland, ME, 05.02.98
"Death to You" Furthering procedures in death sequences, Anti-Friend Hut did it again, armed w/ giant Q-tip battle sticks, murmuring "death to you" over and over again, while Gaylord became plugged & unplugged. The Fine Arts, Portland, ME 07.11.98
"The Wedding of RRRon and Maria", Ministerial requests lent to this performance wedding, that is to say, what else d'ya have when you marry a noise gal? A primal first for Crank & Gaylord, who starred, charmed, and woo'ed as the Alterboy. RRRecords, Lowell, MA 07.25.98
"Friend Bot" A nine minute malestrom: Clog & Crank's aluminum foil robot son (Friendbot) gets killed to reveal a little tv set where his tum was. On the little tv played a video of male genitalia. Amidst the yelling "you killed my son!" there was the interplay of, "at least he still has balls!". Clog then took down the entire table-of-gear in this tragic death scene. The Free Street Taverna 09.04.98
"Motorloo" a very troubling interaction between Crank & Gaylord. The Space, Worcester, MA 09.05.98
"Motorloo Dos" an even more troubling interaction between Crank & Gaylord. Starting out as a discussion about proper land-planning & environmental issues facing urban sprawl, an itch for buggering Gaylord with an extensional ventilation hose became, well, as they say on tv, "actualized". The Middle East, Cambridge, MA 09.06.98
"All Hallow's Hut" A good solid trinity! Anti-Friend Hut (decked in red obelisks), proceeded to incorporate hotdogs, stalled traffic, and dogs in the street eating the hotdogs. Gaylord went gloriously berserk. Later he & Crank hasseled some death metal bands, and there was something about sleeping w/ the wrong girl. The Pleasant Street Collective, Portland, ME 10.31.98
"WMPG Benefit" Anti-Friend Hut at their finest: gonging away, amplifying tricyles, wrapping up Gaylord in either a sleeping bag or burlap (can't remember which) only to get insulted by a dipshit local radio DJ. Zootz, Portland, ME 11.19.98
"Que que que" ah yes, and an almost missed duet w/ Gaylord, Smithwicks, Lowell, MA 11.15.98
"Down with People" Anti-Friend Hut, a co-curational Clog & Crank event/installation. Quite a big fckn' A show featuring lotsa out-of-towners and good art. The masterpiece (to end all) occured during the Hut sidewalk introduction. While doing battle (wearing cardboard battleships; it being Pearl Harbor Day afterall), the wee-bit coked-up Gaylord got on the roof, and proceeded to flail old costumes (on strings, like a puppetmaster) over the audience and THEN hose everyone with a fire extinguisher. If this were not enough, he then tossed the empty metal container into the audience below, hitting our camera-guy in the leg on the second bounce. The Fine Arts, Portland, ME 12.09.98 (no deaths, Gaylord was fired)

1999
"Portable Man-Boy Lyceum" invited to partake in the "Love Machine" group show... Clog and Crank lost their original Valentine's Day couple to-be-married (RRRon and Maria were a no show). A miracle happened when a drunk Gaylord (wearing a tv set on his head) walked through the door... newly rehired, he ended up being wed to one William Goat, a man who made his appearance in an aluminum double dong thong, and well... the rest is history. Geddit? His Story. The Fine Arts, Portland, ME 02.13.99
"Big Dumb Family Sci-Fi" aka "Fat Kid Camp" Crank and Gaylord proceeded to unclothe and redon fabrics of their childhood: Gaylord in a black-box & pantyhose that camp counselors insisted he wear, Crank w/ a tube-assembly penis-piľata, reminiscent of being an exchange student in Central America. The Fine Arts, Portland, ME 03.07.99
"Book Fuck Larceny" Anti-Friend Hut threesome at their grandiestness: girl-angst, air freshener, Nazi baby piľatas (a theme here), and that Simon & Garfunkel tune that sings about lies lies lies. The Free Street Taverna, Portland, ME 05.23.99
"Anti-art Auction" Our three heroes once again sidewalking it via a guerilla performance at an art opening. As it was a nice warm day, the ceremonial death sequences were replaced with stacks of free-art, to be given away. Memory notes that a nicely dressed middle-aged lady demanded a picture entitled, "Frig". 3 Fish Gallery, Portland, ME 06.25.99
"Performance for thee man-hug worms" For a zine release poetry slam, Anti-friend Hut showed up in bubble-wrap costumes and made more than one of the poets leave or put their heads in their hands in great great Homerian dismay, Oak Street Theatre, Portland, ME 07.07.99
"Anti-Friend Hut 'Lympics" Sidewalk stunts of strength and virtue! Long jumps, races (w/ cinderblocks affixed to ankles), and just bouncing up and down on a door (covered in bed springs). Local 188, Portland, ME 07.10.99
"put yer pants on..." Asked to crash an evening of snooty free-jazz (in slaughter house turned art venue), Crank and Gaylord arrived with aforementioned door (coated in springs) to deliver ample bad poetry with titles like, "Lovers on the Volga", etc. Gaylord then proceded to hang upside down where the beef corspes were drained, while Crank did a nude impromtu ballet w/ a man in a deep-sea diver's helmet known as, Empire S.N.A.F.U., VOIX, Lowell, MA 08.99
"God's Bright Engine" Group show! Noise sculptures! Performances! Local 188, Portland, ME 09.99
"The Sacred and Prophane" Anti-Friend Hut performance full-tilt. Dude, Y2K. A guillotine beheading ceremony: if the head didn't come off, shoot it w/ a revolver. Then toss the corpse into a fire routine (as seen on tv!). This inspired two guys to rush the show and attempt to toss Crank into the bonfire while yelling "Annihilate the Nihilist!", Peaks Island, ME 10.30.99
"Intro the Baby Gay(lord) Nude Year" Still hyped-up by the Y2K infection, Gaylord & Crank performed into the new year... wearing diapers (well?) and such, um... it was at Gaylord's house, back when he lived by Denny's. Portland, ME 12.31.99

2000
"Bigot" Clog und Crank, confounded for titles for this duel, came up w/ the next (worst) spin. BINGO night w/ Chicky Stolz thus became BIGOT, except you had to slur the "G" like a Frenchman. The Free Street Taverna, Portland, ME 02.06.00
"When You Are a Man" Anti-Friend Hut Award Ceremony. The threesome were into awards and badges. Gaylord erected a pup-tent in the middle of the venue and made noises inside, occasionally tossing out "cummy socks". He then burst out, wearing just a camouflage U.S. Army t-shirt. Crank was also near-nude. Clog was in testicle-head mode. Someone thought we were pushing some "gay thing" as our theme. VOIX, Lowell, MA 02.12.00
"Toddler Jean Revolt" Anti-Friend Hut ensemble cast featuring Id m Theft Able as the town crier and Southernman as Ape'raham Lincoln. Rhinolady kept screaming "pants" while tossing bags of clothes (meant for Goodwill) on us. Ape-raham (wearing an Osh Kosh B'Gosh pair of overalls as a beard), then delivered the "E-pants-ipation Proclamation" and liberated everyone except the hipsters at the bar. The Skinny, Portland, ME 04.03.00
"Cinco de Mayo" Sans Clog (even though it was his birthday), this again-piľata flavored show w/ Gaylord Pasternak, resulted in something again-dire, as his nibs spun outa control with an LP-mounted sander, sending shards of high velocity vinyl everywhere. VOIX, Lowell, MA (again, no deaths, and Gaylord was given the pink slip) 05.05.00
"Fantcčk!" What better, for the most beautiful October day in the history of the world? Gaylord is rehired and attired in hunter's khaki. Clog & Crank made trunk-costumes. So what'll it be? An elephant hunt, starring the entire Sacred & Profane Festival parade, with ensemble casts and cronies like Id m Theft Able, the Mystic Out-bop Review, Shea D. Mowat, and il maestro: Toyotafant. Peaks Island, ME 10.14.00
"Of Poops and Kings" An untelevised bonzai and thrusty Hestonlike narrative w/ Crank, Clog (wearing a stuffed polar bear for a helmet) with them there Mystic Out-bop Review, all decked very regallike. Don Ho is now our Che Gueverra. Local 188, Portland, ME 12.17.00

2001
"Pariah on a Stick" And a' once more: Clog and Crank and more mischief w/ Mystic Out-bop Review... this time w/ cardboard ziggurats, projections, and more audience members than just the faithful girlfriends. The (original) Zeitgeist, Cambridge, MA 01.26.01
"Anti-Friend Hut Presidential Fitness Award" More with the awards, this time in the guise of cottage cheese thighs, Dolph Lungren/George Bush anecdotes, audience Q & A's involving winter weight gain, Gaylord pedaling madly on an amplified exercise bike (mounted w/ an LP on the wheel), and nevermind the ensuing snowball fight (instigated by our buddy, RRRon). Local 188, Portland, ME 03.11.01
"The Burning Baby" not entirely a Hut ensemble, but indeed something disturbing (the otherwise peacefulness of the Maine woods). Featuring a bonfire and a 14' flammable infant, horns, urgency, and gars... W. Scarborough, ME 05.19.01
"Anti-BBQ-Hut" well? For our day of independence, Clog, Crank, & Gaylord, wearing lil' aprons, schmashed it up at some DIY Hardcore band/grange hall show in Westbrook, ME 07.03.01
"... is there a lawnmower repairman out there?" Less into awards, and more about mustard, the Anti-Friendlies decided to conduct an anti-art show involving a dysfunctional lawnmower, some fine suitcase costumes, plenty of food (hotdogs, etc, etc), Id m Theft Able as the "Wizard of Space & Time", and yet more traffic problems. Filmmaker Hans Michaud later showed his epic film, "TANK". Very touching. Local 188, Portland, ME 07.22.01
"duh marriage of Slyther" triad w/ Southernman, Crank, & Gaylord. Mininsterial callings drove this crew out to Buffalo. Little did we know there was a real wedding component involved. So we bought bad suits and spent most of the hot summer day laughing & drinking Labatt's. Fast forward to showtime: Gaylord decided it was a good time to take mushrooms so he could then run away during the middle of the performance. And then there was something involving a two-person elephant costume for the bride & groom to wear and Gaylord's substitute (a blow-up doll), but by that time it was 5 am, and no one really cared all too much. Ah well. Lessons unlearned. The Continental, Buffalo, NY 08.12.01
"Performance for the Box Creature Sarcophagii" Clog, Crank, & Gaylord built coffins for themselves. Historically, the timing was appropriate. The Sacred & Profane Festival, Peaks Island, ME 09.22.01
"Anti-sans-the-'lord" Crank and Clog, minus Gaylord, donned a huge canoe box ziggurat'ish two-person costume, traded epithets, gargled goldschlager, and managed to earn our $20 worth. Sydney's, Lawrence, MA 10.20.01
"Steps in a Nude Direction" Clog, carboard robot turned actionpainter, painted and painted and painted to Crank's rambles about wearing one boot. A good shrieky deeky and apparently enough cheer that a few people had to leave.... Mobius, Boston, MA 12.13.01
"Merry something or other..." The full Hut trio plus a theremin player (named TV Head) made beautiful sounds and even tossed gifts into a less-than Christmas cheerful audience, St. Lawrence Church, Portland, ME 12.22.01
"Umlačt Christmas Protest Uterus" So the next day, Crank & Clog made for Boston to try a similar debacle. What came of it was a refresher course in good ol' Boston-hurling's: flying Xmas presents, fake snow, a Clog concertina-solo, and fearing retribution from a lesbian theatre troupe (also on the bill that night). O'Briens, Allston, MA 12.23.01
"The year of our Palindrome" Ahhh but you know. The holy trinity, mincing homonyms and palindromes on toilet paper (2002: poop is dood), bid welcome the new year, waving swords and such, even a shooting or two, but again... what's with the listless audience? Hmmm. Free St. Taverna, Portland 12.31.01

2002
"Mask Ernst vs. Cardboard Audience" Redemption. Total fckn' madness one Saturday night. A drunken mob scene, middle finger responses, heavenly ziggurat destructions, fishing reels, extensional tube arms, everything is airborne, vive le Labatt's... Clog & Crank take on the night's evildoers, whilst Gaylord swatted naysayers with a snowshovel. The Skinny, Portland, ME, 02.23.02
"Crank vs. Clog" Hootenanny! Rhinolady had it in her abilties to make us capes to embody our super powers! Our fiendish plot then involved bunny shaving, caviartin panties, & Clog perpetually tripping over his cape. The Berwick Institute, Roxbury, MA, 05.04.02
"Festival of the Burning Bed" another show in the woods, gloriously in flames, W.Scarborough, ME 06.02
"Record Rub and Play" Anti-Friend Hut in its threesome glee, operating as the (aka) Pro-Chum Yurt. Crank had allergy problems but nevertheless proceeded with a turntable demonstration, alluding to stapling said vinyls to Clog's costume, Gaylord's guitar & skating remaining LP's across the sidewalk, only to then repackage the remains and offer to the audience as our latest "release". Clog then upped & died, Gaylord likewise, and w/ audience help, the cardboard robot was dragged out to a traffic island and left to the crows to pick at. Local 188, Portland, ME 06.03.02
"Anti-Pant-Hut" an unconscionable duet w/ Gaylord. Wandering out to the stage naked, the twosome proceeding to tape each other butt to butt and wrap-up in giant tigerstriped undies to the tune of amplified hand saws and a loop stating, "I know two gentlemen who in five months made five million dollars advertising products on tv..." Result? Dire. With the amplified saws, many an old magazine & record met their maker! One keepsake was a Pat Boone LP: one side covered in nasty serrations, the other with dried bloodied fingerprints. Huzzah! St.Lawrence Church, Portland, ME 8.22.02
"Crank's 10th year/Cock ESP's 100th Show" CrankenGaylord: called down to the big freakin' Apple to be up to their ankles again with more taped butts, tropical Polynesian grandma jammies, plenty o' birthday cake. Gaylord said "No" a buncha' times, but with coaxing and pizza, didn't run away. Pyramid Club, NYC, NY, 09.07.02
"Cirque de Poulet, Islam of no Manhugs" Anti-friend's cloud suit treatment in the far reaches. Under whirl windies & October rains, scours sent us northerly to Frankfort, ME, for a festival held in an ancient creaky chicken barn. The power went out, and Jay later tossed out our cloud costumes that we'd planned on reusing. 10.19.02
"Purple yellow hobby horse" An out of the blue phone call requiring "anti-friends", problem was Clog was off somewhere, and I think Gaylord said "No". So, ol' yellow beard, Id m Theft Able & Crank hupped the bob for apples to the sound of casio bleets and trombone blub... an Anti-Friend? Why not. Geno's, Portland, ME, 11.09.02
"Bop Ants and Crog und Clank" A buzzy misdemeanor of a duel on our part. Clog and Crank ended up offering the audience slugs of Goldschlager and then proceeded to settle down in front of a tv that once held Friendbot's genitals. Ah well. Local 188, Portland, ME. 11.17.02
"Reaping the cone mother's milk" An informational transgression w/ Clog & Crank, featuring a discussion with projections depicting pictures of underwear, France, and Armenian mothercultures. This proceeded into a demonstration about sipping mayonnaise... which is afterall, the cone-mother's milk, right? Funny thing about condiments, if you want to clear a path, simply offer this up to a punk-kiddie audience. It's like parting the vegan Red Sea! SPACE, Portland, ME, 11.22.02
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