Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping (2014)
In this performance, for which Billy Talen (Reverend Billy) was arrested, he and about a dozen performers dressed as golden toads assembled inside of a Chase bank in New York City. While the toads performed a dance ritual, Reverend Billy preached his Earthellujah doctrine, condemning JP Morgan Chase’s investment in fossil fuels and indicting them for their role in climate change.
Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping are familiar figures in activist street performance; they also perform at more typical arts venues nationally and internationally. Their message is one of anti-consumerism, environmentalism, and democracy. They use the tropes of evangelism and church choirs to mobilize enthusiasm and joy for their anti-capitalist agitprop.