STUDIO: Creative Circle
MSRP: $19.98
RUNNING TIME: 47 Minutes
• Deleted Scenes
• Claymation clip

The Pitch

"Dude, come record our party. It’ll be awesome."

The Humans

Vessy Mink, Joey Soto, probably somebody named "Moon Child" or something.

The Nutshell

Billed as a "burlesque set in the 21st century," Art in the Buff is a filmed bit of nightlife in Venice Beach at a particular club that celebrates nudity. It’s not a strip club, or a live sex place, though; instead, it has much more in common with a hippie commune. Everybody on stage clumsily celebrates life, peace, love, and as many other abstracts as they can pull out of thin air.

Art in the where now?

The Lowdown

It’s not porn, but it’s not much better. Porn is designed to titillate. Art in the Buff makes a few concessions in that direction, possibly to seize the minds of horndogs, but mostly it’s unconcerned with libido. Sure, there is a poorly-realized narrative that sort of frames the thing, and features a pair of young women experimenting in bisexuality, but most of the running time is given over to the stage performers who are by turns boring, aggravating, obtuse, and kitschy.

I suppose this dislike of the stage show comes from my tendency to recoil from bad poetry — especially bad poetry that other people encourage along just because they’re afraid to admit that there are objective qualities to art. (For those people, you can encourage the writer, but please god tell them where their attempts fail.) Art in the Buff features music, poetry, and spoken-word narrative, and it is all wretched, forms of expression that require you either be high or drunk off the moment itself. The former just might work; the latter is impossible, and kinda invalidates the need for a disc like this.

The whole thing comes off like a high school talent show where the contestants just happen to show a little nipple or penis. Nothing in what they do is concretely meaningful, it’s just participating within a clique. As such, I award the grand prize to the hula-hoop girl, even though the talents behind this release edited the fuck out of her routine.

Anyone else think of the Chipmunks?

The Package

Video and audio are handheld, camcorder quality. It gives the show a strange air, as if it’s something being taped by a child, and all that implies. For bonuses, you get a couple of awkward deleted scenes and a "collector’s claymation clip," which is just a slice of disjointed weirdness that reminds me of early Sesame Street stuff.

I believe from now on I’ll avoid future connections between adult entertainment and children’s television shows.

2 out of 10