After Ghostbusters 2: Converation with Yanosh and Vigo Revisited


Performances by: Ben Schubert and Evan Tyler







The “Ghostbuster” motion pictures of the early 1990’s heavily impacted my developmental perception of New York City. While the ghosts, gore, special effects and comedic brilliance made the movies classics in their own right, these also helped to cultivate the long-distance relationship I formed with New York City at a young age. I recall the scene in “Ghostbusters 2” when Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) are eating in a fancy Manhattan restaurant, discussing a possible romantic reconciliation. As Dr. Venkman engages in a magical exchange with Dana, I always rather pictured myself as loose and charming as Bill Murray was in 1992 at an upscale restaurant in downtown Manhattan. As I grew older and my understanding of New York was enriched with reality, hard facts and other layers that form life in New York, my idealized portrait fell back.

One of the most magical interactions in the film is between the possessed gallery facilitator, Yanosh and Vigo the Carpathian. Yanosh is subject to a verbal contract with Vigo regarding his wishes to return to earth and reclaim his place in the “castle of pain, on the mountain of skulls, and the throne of blood”. During these interactions, Yanosh surrenders himself as a slave to the mandate and evil aspiration of Vigo. His only wish is that if he does what Vigo requests of him, that he may be granted his deepest human desire: love. When he is granted this wish, he becomes enthralled with excitement and dances a little spin, calling out: “Thank you Lord! Thank you!” I always felt the passion and excitement captured in Yanosh’s moment mirrored my own excitement of one day living in the “Big Apple”. Over the years I have continued to re-watch the “Ghostbusters” films to revisit the imagery which harvested my early crush on New York City. I have a very personal and invested relationship with “Ghostbusters 1” and “2”. As part of my research for this project, I visited the United States Customs House which was used as “The Manhattan Museum of Art” in “Ghostbusters 2”. It is now properly known as “The Museum of the American Indian”. The experience was cathartic.

In this video, a dialogue between Yanosh and Vigo is re-contextualized between two performers in a more casual, yet equally intimate setting. While Yanosh remains sincerely invested in Vigo’s message, he appears more somber and in contemplation of things. Vigo remains the authoritative and demanding party, indifferent to Yanosh’s feelings. Perhaps Vigo in unable to fulfill the emotional needs and intimacy that Yanosh is seeking. While in “Ghostbusters 2”, Yanosh becomes a slave to the mystery, magic and otherness of a piece of artwork; perhaps it is the myth and mystery of New York City that has captured my own spirit. Recent cultural texts and articles, such as a June, 2010 issue of “Manhattan” a question is posed whether New York’s urban scene is undergoing a crisis, questionably the “capital of cool” as it once was referred to as. However, did anyone ever stop to think that maybe New York is just trapped in a painting somewhere in a museum? Maybe New York is just waiting for the perfect time for a dark and riveting rebirth in which it will reclaim its position in the “castle of pain, on the mountain of skulls and on the throne of blood”.