Yesterday, conceptual performance artist Amanda Bynes debuted her latest vision–“Setting fire to neighbor’s driveway in Thousand Oaks, Calif.” (medium: little red gas tank, gasoline, asphalt, butane lighter, clothing, Percocet)–either a statement against global warning or a tribute to Macha, the fire god who is said to bring bountiful crops and good parking spaces at the Bloomingdale’s in Santa Monica.
Residents of the retirement community where Ms. Bynes set her latest exhibition were stunned to find out they had a famed and controversial artist in their midst. Ms. Bynes had just that weekend broken into the property and was arrested while location-scouting. Asked by local law enforcement, “Do you know anyone by the name of Amanda Bynes, or why she would have some vendetta against you?” the elderly woman whose driveway was set ablaze responded in the negative. Then again, living in a gated community means that the woman has probably not heard of Marina Abramovic or Laurie Anderson or Joaquin Phoenix, either.
Currently, Ms. Bynes has been given a 5150: the same 48-hour psychiatric hold given to Dadaist Britney Spears during the unveiling of her sculpture “Umbrella/Car.”
This comes as something of a coup for Ms. Bynes, who has been trying to raise awareness for her envelope-pushing performances for over a year now, with many critics–and Bynes herself–dismissing the work as a reductive plagiarizing of colleague Lindsay Lohan’s oeuvre.
Before becoming a living performance artist, Ms. Bynes’s had dabbled in the theatrical arts: