Sunday, April 17, 2016

Project #1 "Slide" aka My First Performance Art Piece


One of my quirks and issues is that I have a complex about my body. I hate it. I think that I have the most disgusting and off-putting lumpy hairy bodies in the world. And I often feel that my body is non-reflective of who I am as a person—that I feel trapped and confined in this completely unglamorous meat cage. I am loudly and proudly team body image issues. So a lot of what I like to do as a performer and now as an artist involves taking this horrible meat prison and adorning it with tinsel and sequins to make it sparkly and beautiful.

lol this guy caught RED HANDED

The other thing that I like is going to back to childhood and innocence and placing activities or objects that are charged with innocence and nostalgia in a space to be interacted with and viewed by the audience. So the idea of slide—a kids hand game that I remember from elementary school became the thing that I fixated on for this first piece.

aw, twinning.

My initial image was to make the body or artist beautiful by applying paint, and this paint became applied in the childlike innocence and splattering that came from the hand clap game of slide. In a way the struggles and insecurities we gain with age would disintegrate with revival of childhood tradition. This first performance of “Slide” tested that theory and began to walk in that direction, but it needed more. The sound was very satisfying and the effect of having us sitting as living sculpture was very effective. I liked the portrayal of the idea of the artist as art. However we needed more paint or more substances. I think that with every “screw-up” or miscommunication of the game, we should have broke to apply more substance. Also, instead of keeping our substances in small containers, placing them in buckets to pick-up or on a plate or pallet would make it easier than pouring the peanut-butter or squeezing the paint out of the tube.

Well officers, this isn't what it looks like.

I liked the peanut butter but it easily disappeared into the paint. It changed the consistency of the final substance and this final substance appeared relatively early into the piece. I wonder how the performance would have changed with more application of substance or in variance of substance. A bucket or pallet could definetly leave some splatter and residue on our paper.

the residue


  1. Benjamin -- wow! GREAT photo documentation! EXCELLENT. Check and see about the video - it is set to private and I cannot see it. Very good self-reflection on the work. Clearly you are engaged in this process. Yes, the peanut butter with paint did not add any meaning that I can think of to make it stronger. The materials you choose - carefully think about them. This work could be re-performed for the final night. The sounds you two made with your hands were wonderful, alive and very rhythmic. Kudos!

  2. I really loved this performance. I think it is so brave to confront your fears, address what makes you uncomfortable, especially in front of the class. This performance removed the veil of sexuality that we typically associate with nudity, stripped it down so we just saw two people, playing a childhood game, making a mess, having fun. The colors used, especially the red paint was a little off putting in that it looked almost like blood, it almost tainted the story. What would seem like an innocent little game looked almost macabre as you smeared red paint on each other. When both your hands were fully reddened, that was the most striking thing for me. It told of something more that was happening that was outside of the performance perhaps. I like the idea of getting messier the second time around. I wanna see peanut butter and paint everywhere!!! Good job guys :)

  3. Captivating performance. I loved how we entered your space, and how Amanda assisted you and Madison's performance. It was simple and fascinating. The different consistencies of the peanut putter and paint were really interesting when mixed together. The odor of the peanut butter lingered after your performance. I personally enjoyed your opening movements when you slid on each others arms. The nudity was powerful. We had mention in our group discussion that it nudity without making it sexual. If you were to do it a second time around I would love to see you both keep reapplying the substances to the slide game- whether it be when someone messes up or on a timer. Overall, loved watching you perform and reading your personal reflection!

  4. I loved this performance. I think that to be naked & so vulnerable exposing something you dislike is incredibly brave. I like the contrast of innocence in your actions with the violence / intensity of the red paint. I appreciate that the peanut butter was used because it added an extra opportunity to appeal to another sense- smell. I agree entirely about needing more substance- I think this would be an interesting opportunity to play around with using various foods or materials, or just more paint in general. Be somewhat intentional about this- peanut butter reminds me of elementary school lunches, soon followed by recess and playing the game you performed. If you want to use the messiness of the action, I say reallly go for it. This has a lot of potential. good job :)

  5. You two deserve these insightful comments and compliments. Excellent work. BRAVE and INTRIGUING to watch and to listen to.