On August 4, 2011 Jennifer Locke and myself executed a 3 and a half-hour performance at 937 (Fourteen30 Contemporary’s summer satellite space) in Portland, OR. Our goals were three-fold: 1. Utilize and address the architecture of the gallery space with subtle, minimal modification. 2. Create an experience in which Jennifer and myself were switching who was in control of the movement of the performance and who was left vulnerable and exposed to the materials that we utilized. 3. Use our assistant Michael as a raw material in much the same way that we were manipulating the other objects in the space. The gallery is located on the ground floor of a new apartment building complex in downtown Portland. Because the space has never been rented it has been left in its raw form: asymmetrical construction, 20 foot tall ceilings, mudded dry wall, concrete support pillars, and bare floor. When our piece began viewers saw three pillars in the space; 2 structural and 1 that we carefully constructed out of un-cemented cinder blocks. Our constructed pillar blended into the space at first glance but upon further inspection was clearly wobbling and swaying. To begin, Jennifer, myself, and our assistant entered the space. I was nude and they were clothed. Jennifer then stripped and I put on her clothes. The assistant then began to mummify Jennifer with duct tape while I carefully operated a scissor lift and dismantled our pillar. I took the cinder blocks that I removed and constructed two walls in the corner of the room where Jennifer was being wrapped. After she was done being mummified our assistant lowered her to the floor and then stuck his hands through a gap that I had left in the wall. I then duct taped his hands together, trapping him inside. When I was about 10 minutes away from completely dismantling the pillar I reached through a second gap in the wall and placed a pair of scissors in Jennifer’s hand. As I finished the working, she cut herself out of the duct tape. After placing the last cinder block, I stripped, tossed my clothes over, and stuck my hands through a third gap in the wall. After putting on my clothes, Jennifer then duct taped my hands together. Once I was incapacitated she then began to dismantle the wall from the inside. She then climbed over and cut our assistant’s hands free. The two then began to deconstruct parts of the walls I had made and reassembled them into a third wall to encase me. After they placed the last cinder block I remained in the cell until the show ended. Throughout the duration of the event there were two small video cameras capturing live feeds. Perspectives of the scissor lift going up and down and of Jennifer being trapped into the corner of the room were projected on the side-wall of the gallery.
Special thanks to Patrick Rock of ROCKSBOXCONTEMORARYFINEART and Jeanine Jablonski of Fourteen30 Contemporary for providing us with the opportunity. Many thanks also go to Michael Barrett for assisting us in the production.
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