Performance Artist to Appear in
Conjunction with Symposium
Posted September 17, 2001
HOLLAND -- When Billy Curmano decided to swim the
entire length of the Mississippi River, he did not care
about setting athletic records. Curmano's swim was not an
athletic event, but an artistic performance which he titles
"Swimmin' in the River."
During his swim, Curmano encountered everything
from sewage barges to alligators. He sees his swim an
environmental statement, and has since translated his
experiences from the 2,367-mile journey into a performance
piece called, "Muck Minnow, the Gill Boy."
Curmano will perform the piece at Hope College on
Thursday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre.
The public is invited, and admission is free.
The nationally known performance artist's
appearance is the first part of Hope College's Critical
Issues Symposium, which focuses on the environment this
year. Although the symposium itself runs on Tuesday-
Wednesday, Oct. 2-3, the issue is being addressed in a
number of ways outside of the usual two-day time period.
The Holland Area Arts Council will also feature an
exhibition of Curmano’s works from Friday, Sept. 28, through
Saturday, Oct. 6 There will be an artist's reception on Friday, Sept. 28, from 6-8 p.m.
Curmano's unusual art works have resulted not only
in national media attention, but the reception of several
prestigious art awards and grants. Besides his swim,
Curmano welcomed the year 2000 by fasting for 40 days in
Death Valley while videotaping the experience, has been
buried alive for three days, and with his musical band has
performed for cows.
In describing "Muck Minnow, the Gill Boy," Curmano
said, "The obsessiveness of the river project turned me into
something other than human." In the piece, Curmano's
character Muck Minnow believes he has grown gills and
developed webbed feet. This leads him to create carnival
posters of himself, announcing that he is the latest
sideshow attraction, the Gill Boy.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown
Holland near the Hope College campus at 86 E. 8th St.
The Critical Issues Symposium, "Earth Matters:
Daily Decisions, Environmental Echoes" takes place on
Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 2-3, on the Hope College campus.
The symposium will begin with the keynote address "Designing
a Better World" by David Orr of Oberlin College on Tuesday
at 7 p.m., and will continue through mid-afternoon Wednesday
with an assortment of keynote addresses, panel
presentations, focus sessions and related events. The
symposium is also welcoming the Tony-award winning San
Francisco Mime Troupe on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Additional information about the symposium and
related events may be obtained by calling (616) 395-7893.