Posted in performance art, tagged censorship, homeless, husbands, institution, intimacy, language, performance art, power, protest, relationship, sexuality, Vancouver on May 10, 2011 |
photo by Golboo Amani
39 hours at Concourse Gallery from May 6-20, 2011
I fill a wall space with text: MY HUSBANDS AND I NEED A SPACE TO LIE. I stand in front of the wall, holding a paper: LOOKING FOR A BED. There is a hat with a THANKS sign on the floor. When audience walks in front of me, I shout at them as loud as I can with very firm and angry tone: HEY! CAN I HAVE SOME CHANGE?
It is a protest performance addressing the fact that I was unable to show my installation work, The Husbands and I, at Emily Carr 2011 Graduate Show. I proposed my work to Graduate Committee in January, 2011 with very detailed descriptions about the work dimension and plan, which involves photos, a plasma TV, and a bed. On May3, 2011, the Graduate Committee came to see my work and said there was no space to show this piece. Later, the committee assigned me a place where it is impossible to install the photos and TV due to technique requirements. As a result, I decided not show the original work but this protest performance.
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performed by Ashlea Conway, photo by Henry Sun
three hours at Artbank Vancouver
I set a medical bed in a gallery space and pour a pile of brightly colored candies on the bed. I wear a doctor outfit, standing in front of the bed with a nurse. I take a candy, peeling its wrap and transmitting it into my month. After having a brief taste, I spit the candy to a plate. The nurse holds the plate and places the candy on the floor, chairs, tables, walls and so on. Sometimes the candy is dropped right in front of an audience’s feet, or deposited a coffee table where an audience is enjoying his/her wine. The nurse often cut audiences conversations in order to place the candy in a certain place.
This performance implies how contemporary medical discourse and biological research continue to objectify the body by treating the patient as a compilation of symptoms and statistics. Diseased body is a docile body, an object, a ready-made shaped by discourse and abstracted through science. It is also an entity continually controlled, denied and manipulated by a biomedical authority. Under this authority, the sick body remains permeable, vulnerable, and mutable. In my performance, I embrace Feliix Gonzalez-Torres’s concept of candy with a Duchampian sensibility to create “portraiture” referring the physicality of the subject’s body. However, different from Feliix Gonzalez-Torres’s, my sweets cannot be consumed by audiences but its authority only. These disfranchised candies themselves are testimony demonstrating a process how its authority studies it, dissects it, sexually harasses it, abuses it, and finally abandons it. However, the testimony is an invalid testimony because we seem to have accepted the fact that we are an object in terms of medical treatments; and this acceptance inevitably maintains us being the most compliant creature under a scalpel.
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