Present Tense Interview: Wilder Huckleberry

There aren’t many 16 year olds out there that could school the Present Tense on performance art. Wilder Huckleberry is one of the few exemptions. Having grown up with two parents that make performance and regularly attend events, he’s probably seen more performance in his life than most working performance artists have. Below, we pick his brain in an interview on his take of performance if Boston.

Present Tense: What is the first performance you remember seeing?

Wilder Huckleberry: first performance… the one that stands out is one that Mari did in one of the earlier Mobius spaces. Definitely wasn’t the first i saw, but the one that was pretty early on. She was doing some crazy things under a red light with tall tree ┬ápillars and meat and gods and a sliced up napkin toga thing.

PT: Is performance art cool?

WH: Yes, performance is cool, but its really more that the artists themselves are cool. Audience and artist together make the performance, that’s how I’m thinking about it right now.

PT: Can you name a few artists or pieces that you really liked?

WH: I’ve really liked every piece of art that I have ever seen from Julie Andre Tremblay and Jamie McMurray, to name two.

Julie Andree T

My parents’ stuff I always have a different mood about, probably because they’re my parents, and you always have changing feelings about your parents. The collaborations between my father and Vela Phelan are almost always badass.

Jeff Huckleberry and Vela Phelan

PT: Have you ever made your own performance?

WH: I have taken part in many performances, but never made my own.

PT: Are there any objects that you can’t look at with thinking of a performance you’ve seen?

WH: Yes, there are so many. My room contains a few. There are a bunch in our basement. I can’t even look at a plywood sheet without thinking of my dad.


PT: Would you say that having parents that are artists has impacted you in any way?

WH: Well if my parents hadn’t been artists, well, I don’t even know what that would be like.