The idea is simple: Jay Z has an exhibition space which is very nicely done in all white. In the middle are a small raised stage (barely high enough to be called a step, nevermind a stage) and a bench, the type one may find in a modern art gallery to sit upon and look at the art. This bench is part of the "exhibition" or performance though, because around these two things is your traditional "do not cross" rope which keeps an enthusiastic crowd of people around the edges of the hall. What then happens is Jay Z performs his track while interacting with other artists who are present within the space. These artists are listed at the end of the film but we have a range from gallery owners, "performers", artists, street-dancers through to names like Alan Cumming, Taraji J Henderson, Rosie Perez, Judd Apatow and Michael K Williams.
The concept of the film is that there are no lines between types of art and thus the various types will interact with Jay Z's performance of his track. What this means in practice is that for some people they just seem to sit and enjoy the performance but don't "do" anything art-wise (Williams, Apatow and Henderson); others go all in with their own performances such as dancing or whatever and finally others appear to "be" and enjoy being in the centre of the action with all these people watching. The first type seems a little pointless. The second type is OK because it is what the idea was meant to produce, but the third type sees people acting up or doing stuff that probably means something to them, but nothing to the viewer. Specifically I think of the woman who spends her time "being" with her forehead pressed against Jay Z's, but I also found myself a bit narked by those messing around and playing up to the cameras. Ultimately you have a group of creative people in a room, all of whom are "performers" in one way or another, so of course they will be used to and even enjoy the spotlight; perhaps it is the introverted part of me that finds that irritating to watch and indeed this is why I generally would not be open to the idea of what I generally perceive to be "performance art", although I do love galleries.
An interesting idea but it must be said it doesn't work. Not sure what Jay Z or anyone really got out of it themselves but for the viewer it will come down to how you feel watching artists "perform". That title is important and really if the idea of "performance art" appeals then you'll love this film from the concept to the delivery, but for me, it did very little apart from make me cringe a little at some of the actions.