I was also present at Jonathan Meese‘s performance and have followed the discourse surrounding the events of that night with interest. My friends and I became increasingly aware of the audience’s shock and disgust - Claire mentions a girl next to her who left in tears - which culminated in the ostensibly disruptive throwing of an object in the Turbine Hall (this was initially linked to the Stuckists but Charles Thomson has publicly denied responsibility www.stuckism.com).
The extreme reaction of the audience seemed to us a little implausible at times, to the point where we began to question the authenticity of the response. As Claire points out, artists such as Paul McCarthy paved the way for these sorts of performance; the contemporary art viewer is surely by now accustomed to artists who deal with this subject matter and work in this highly charged way.
In the ensuing discussion it has been suggested that the disruption was part of Meese‘s performance, however I can’t help but wonder whether it was in some way instigated by the Tate in a bid to create publicity and draw media attention to their staging of the whole event.
i was also present at the performance...after the projection had finished and Meese continued unabated I shouted loudly ‘You’re shite' and left. Various art-world types near me were absolutely horrified by my outburst, however i was approached afterwards by others who agreed with me....this however is the dynamic that all live performers must deal with, and cannot expect the well-heeled audience to just remain passive consumers..Meeses work is nothing new and is highly derivative and flogs a dead horse of repetition..for a man so drawn Wagner he has alot to learn about stagecraft...repetition is fine but the audience will become bored as we clearly did....regarding reactions: if it had been in the DADa days he may even have been shot, who knows..but i can assure you that i was not in the pay of the culture supermarket that is the tate...
I was not present at the preformance, but I felt a disturbance in the force, like millions of people had just gone, “who cares?” and I though, wow, what a buzz. Sort of like that Survivor show.