Wanted: One bright spark, GSOH
Sunday 07 October 2012
It makes you wonder. What is going on inside David Blaine's head that he needs to morph from simple street magician to Grand Guignol narcissist? Since his first TV special hit US screens 15 years ago, the illusionist's "tricks" have become not merely more mystifying but also more extreme.
Having, in the past, starved for 44 days, been frozen in a giant ice block and buried alive, the 39-year-old began his latest stunt, Electrified, at New York's Pier 54. Raised on a small platform 20 feet up, Blaine made himself the target of lightning bolts from seven Tesla coils capable of sending a million volts through his body during the 72 hours he committed to remaining there.
In an echo of artist Marina Abramovic's 1974 Rhythm 0 performance, Blaine presented spectators with something of a moral challenge: viewing stations in London, Tokyo, Beijing and Sydney enabled them to control currents aimed at his body. While Blaine is protected by a 20kg (44lb) chainmail suit and a wire helmet, the smallest move triggered by tiredness could send electricity surging through him.
Blaine admits that fatherhood has made him more cautious, but we can't help wondering if this latest venture shows some anxiety about his impending 40th birthday.
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
Ten best places to live in the UK: Hart in Hampshire takes top spot
Winter Solstice marks shortest day of the year
Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
David Cameron takes his biggest gamble yet as he gets tough on Europe over immigration
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 Tim Sherwood challenges Daniel Levy to set out vision for Tottenham Hotspur’s future
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 5 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
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