Last week I did a 5.5 hr performance titled The After as part of this exhibition: https://www.montserrat.edu/portfolio-item/trace-matter/
In the last few years, much is being discussed about how we freely give up our privacy through our phones, internet, and use of photos and social media. Our lives and actions are available and immediate; little is left to the imagination. How we communicate now hedges largely on what we choose to share, or how much control over that we relinquish.
My actions were documented by recording the audio and also with a video camera (for a live feed). The camera perspective wasn’t wide frame, but was narrowed to small/specific points (of my choosing) of my actions. In addition, viewers were invited to watch the performance in the gallery as it occurred, but again their view was limited as the doors of the gallery were covered with white plastic.
One of the aspects that became important to this work was the interaction with the viewers on the other side of the screen. For the first few hours I was focused on playing with the materials I had, I took my time, I rested, ate an apple…I told myself: the product is not what is important. It is the process. Then I got to a point when I was bored and I decided to lie down. Looking at the ceiling of this brightly lit gallery. I turned my head and I saw the video camera (which was actually my phone!) on a tripod. I took the tripod from its legs and began moving it around, playing with the movement of the camera and also, giving the viewer (s), if there were any, a tour inside the work and extreme close ups of my body which some parts were covered in paint. Is anyone watching? I thought? what do they want to see? what do I want them to see? The work became an exploration and a guess of what I thought the answer to these questions were.
In the last hour, I became aware that a bunch of people were outside the doors peeking through the plastic. We interacted through the doors and plastic and using my phone, I documented what was happening on my side of the door. I heard: “Oh that’s me and my hand! “ “ oh, I am on camera.”
The event ended when, after 5.5 hours I was done.
I am going back to see the remnants of the work in a week. I wonder what it looks like now. Did anything fall off?, are things smelly? Also, the sound of the piece will be running in a loop so as the viewer comes close to the work they will experience the sound and the remnants. And that viewer is going to be me too! I am curious to experience the work as an outsider (of sorts)…I will report back!
If you feel like watching some of the live feed, you can see it here: