Monday, April 7, 2014

Reality vs. Appearance

Instructions: This performance must involve your body - conceptually and physically. You may collaborate. It may involve the audience. You may use aspects of one of your previous projects. You can use sound, film, slides, objects, video, etc. It may be serious or humorous (but not "entertainment"). It may be feminist, gay, activist, fluxus, political, absurd, serious, etc. Time: 1-5 minutes.

For this performance, Corissa and I were influenced by Heather Hansen's Emptied Gestures (drawings implementing the body), Janine Antoni's Moor (lifeline), and Adrian Piper's My Calling (Card) ( pain). I asked Corissa if she wanted to collaborate for this project because she had been working on performances that had to do with how her arthritis has affected her life; this inspired me to want to make a piece that incorporated my blood disorder, neutropenia (a condition of having no white blood cells). This rare condition has had a very traumatic impact on my life, and has changed my outlook. I see life as being very fragile, which is why making the most of everyday is important. In the past, I have played with the idea of a "lifeline" in my paintings (influenced by Abstract Expressionist Clifford Still), and have again experimented with the concept in this performance (influenced by Janine Antoni). Everyone has their own "lifeline" that they try to balance on. Everyone has struggles in their life, which they attempt to control and get over. The bodily problems that Corissa and I have are hard to deal with, but they will always be there. In addition, they are kind of invisible to people who do not know us.

So, our performance consisted of each of us outlining the other on large pieces of paper. Then we each proceeded to draw our issues inside of our outlines. I drew a heart and veins, and Corissa circled joints on the body. Then, we stood up and held the sheets of paper in front of us, dropped them, and walked out of the room in separate directions.

Our intention for this performance was to contrast realities and outward appearance. We wanted to reveal the issues that we deal with, but then not let them define who we are. If we were to recreate this performance, I think that ripping the paper or breaking through would have a stronger effect and would make a nice noise. 

1 comment:

  1. I got a chilled when I read to the part describing your disorder that you have no white blood cells. I felt like I learned a lot about and from you guys from this class, about how even when the surface of your body seems healthy, there are always possibility for more issues underneath it that we don't notice. However, I learned all of that from the stories that you told, not from the performance itself. I think that for somebody who doesn't know you personally, it will be hard for them to interpret the same way.
    Regardless, I still really enjoyed the performance as you guys were outlining each other's body. It reminded me of my childhood outlining my hands and literally tracing everything to make "art". I also love the sound of you guys tearing the paper in the end, I think it really added a better sound/visual/meaning to the piece.