Breaking the Storm: A Conversation With Non Grata’s Anonymous Boh

Non Grata at Grace Exhibition Space in November 2013. Photo: Laura Blüer

By David LaGaccia

Appropriately, when listening again to this 2012 taped interview with Non Grata’s Anonymous Boh, (or Al Paldrok) you sense that it was recorded in some abandoned bunker, and we’re plotting our word takeover. The audio sounds tinny and analog, there are voices chattering in the background, and Al is heard talking in his usual forceful and captivating stream-of-conscious manner.

“There are no bad performance ideas,” he says at one point, “but there are thousands of lousy ways of realizing them. A variety of energy movement in space is important, and artists are tools to make it happen. During the event, you have to make reality change, or you are failed.”

The conversation was actually recorded in a nice apartment in the middle of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with Grace Exhibition Space gallery owners Jill and Erik Hokanson playing host. It was snowing outside several inches deep, and when I met Al, he was cooking over a bubbling soup, and was ready to serve dinner. This conversation, which is about 60 minutes long, originally served as the documentation for a previous article I wrote about Non Grata in 2012. It found us discussing the history and nature of Al’s performance art practice with Non Grata, as well as his musings on the challenges of the art world. Here is the full interview in its raw and unedited form. Several Non Grata members joined in the conversation, including Amber Lee, Philip Luddite and Sami Maalas.