Tuesday Nights is a performance piece I presented in 2000 while I was a student at the Bard College Masters of Arts program.
The piece consisted of an initial announcement of the fact that every Tuesday night for two months I would be in a room at a nearby motel and, further, that I would “sleep with anyone as long as they were kind and didn’t disturb the motel management”.
The second part of the piece was simply me waiting in the motel room, and whatever happened, both inside and outside the room, as a result of my initial declaration. The intention of the piece was to present a charged, even aggressive, metaphorical situation that symbolized a range of different, but closely related, themes.
Some of those themes were:

  • The complicated mix of the desire for sexual liberation and the seeming inability to have it.
  • Anger in response to not feeling free.
  • Finding the position (physical or emotional) in which you can be yourself.
  • The construction of a metaphorical situation symbolizing the dynamics of openness and its opposite.
  • A challenge to the idea of performing, i.e., can you “perform” under pressure? If you are just there, being yourself, are you performing?
  • The performer’s dilemma; the desire to pull everyone toward you and simultaneously to push them all far away; ”I want everyone, now get away from me”,
  • The desire to make, at one stroke, all your problems the responsibility of others.

Tuesday Nights is very similar to the later performance Standing Date. Even though superficially very different, both are efforts to present a socio-physical position as a metaphor for the problems of being open, of closeness, of intimacy, and of clear communication.

Tom Johnson

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