Performed at Ivy Brown Gallery 2016
From 2008 over a period of two year, I noted aspects of my way of living that had to changed due to financial challenges… Trying to figure out what is the worth of the duties and activities that I undergo on a daily basis and simple ways of cutting down the cost of living. For example, one of the various categories is called avoided shopping. Every time I made a conscious decision to curb my urge to buy something, I would make note of it in the journal. At the end of each month, I then calculate what my saving was. I also give stars marks to three different aspects that have been influenced through those choice; the effect on the environment, the personal benefit and the loss. In another category, would be Avoiding take outs, think of all the spared plastic bags, Styrofoam…The marking and note making follow the same pattern with each of the categories.
The journal was the seed to "WmW?" an ongoing performance project. The performance element of "WmW?" is heavily collaborative, between the artist and accompanying performers, as well as with the audience. I developed a text used during the performance which relays spending, splurges and savings, As I expose spending, savings and earnings to the audience in the performance, I drag behind me a rack of lint overskirt and hand made clothing, combining the domestic and financial spheres. What is one’s worth? As an artist, as a professional, as a parent? How do our financial decisions define us? How do they affect the world around us, the environment, the water, the air? Accompanying performers, a judge, an auctioneer, and the voice, echo her words and question the audience, involving them and forcing them to asses how the recession affected them and their notions of worth. Themes of finance, value, guilt and reward are addressed.
The overdress created from lint, a remnant or evidence, a free byproduct of my everyday housework, underscoring the theme of worth. With lint, my daily work as a mother and artist merge. During the performance the lint costumes, a delicate item, falls apart, a disaster that I then turn, in frond of the audience into a Sculpture, titled "Exhibit #1, #2, #3 etc.The audience is invited to judge, value and "buy" via an auction the item. As the performance ends, assigning of value continues; the costumes remain in the aftermath of the performance.
"WmW?" has been performed 13 times, at No Longer Empty, BIPAF, Dixon Place, Five Myles and Ivy Brown Gallery. What’s My worth is continuously changing and evolving. With each performance, I gain new and deeper understanding to further develop the project both as a performance and an installation piece. It is my intention to expand What’s My Worth?, the work is presented sometimes with other performers or as a solo performance. this is dictated in large part by the budget available to pay the performers, this in itself follows the idea of this project.