November 30, 2012
Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
The Bumbys are a contemporary version of Amy Alkon known as The Advice Goddess. She and a friend had a card table they would set up near Warhol’s Interview office when it was on Union Square and put up a big sign that said ADVICE – FREE – and then sit there. You could ask them anything and they would tell you what they thought you should do, or not do – she was great, and still is.
It is great to see this kind of interactive street theatre back in action since the Goddess moved to LA. Today, Gill and Jill Bumby are a similar and modern version of The Advice Goddess. Starting in 2007, Gill performed outside the Bedford Avenue Station in Brooklyn criticizing passersby’s clothes for two dollars and typing his judgments with an old-fashioned typewriter. One year later he has been joined by Jill and the Bumbys were born.
“Everyone is hungry to know what others think of them, but it’s usually impossible to know. You can’t exactly stop a stranger on the street and ask them what they think of you. […] We give them something they can’t get anywhere else” that’s what, according to them, makes their performances special.
Hiding their identities, they perform in front of the crowd dressed with a ski cap for Gill and a wig for Jill, bandanas, a pair of white sunglasses and Skullcandy headphones in order to dull their hearing. Their real names remain unveiled: “we want to give participants an anonymous, blank slate when they look at us. We’ve chosen wigs, bandanas and sunglasses for our costumes because they’re playful and memorable but still mysterious”.
Each of their performances is silent. They study people’s appearances and then type out their appraisal based on intuitions and what comes from their vibe, demeanour and nonverbal communication. The creation of their humorous paragraphs, accompanied by numerical rankings, is possible because “we all give off distinct impressions about our personalities and lives every time we leave the house”. Thus it is strictly important their identities remain secret in order to avoid questions about their motivations and tastes.
After having worked also with famous brands as Diesel, Fiji Water, Peutrey, Vogue, Microsoft, Guess and may others, they had won the approval of both the public and the media.
Here below a special message wrote by Jill Bumbys for 10 Corso Como:“If Andy Warhol had a shop like he had a band in the Velvet Underground, it would be 10 Corso Como. In Milan, it’s a refuge for shopping, and the jewelry line alone replaces my need for men. When I stayed in Room #3 at the 3 Rooms Hotel (part of 10 Corso Como World) in 2005, things happened to me there – romantic things – that probably changed me forever. These things happened to me among furniture so exquisite I’ve never been in a room like it since, nor have I loved like that again. When I think of 10 Corso Como, places on my body actually tingle and flush red. Even the mention of it makes me feel like a blush commercial. Overall: 9.8”.