2005, Standing Date
Standing Date is a performance that can exist in many different contexts. Throughout the summer of 2005 I performed this piece as part Greater New York at PS1 Museum in New York. During the winter of 2005-6, I performed Standing Date for 3 months in the Pantagruel Syndrome, the Torino Triennial, in Torino, Italy.
A summary of the performance follows below.
Performing standing date involves turning myself into a public sculpture and public space. I stand in a metal box for 7 hours per day, five days a week, for whatever the period of the exhibition. The box stands on its end, fastened to the ground in a public square.
Perhaps the two most powerful images created are, first, of a disembodied head, and, second, of a person confined, perhaps tortured. People ask me questions; “what are you doing”, and “why are you in there”. The conversations initiated by these questions are part of the piece.
Though I answer these questions honestly, it’s really the act of conversing itself that interests me; so that we, the interlocutor and I, are made acutely conscious of our role in conversation, to be critical or not, to be respectful or not. In other words, to undertake to build the civic space that exists in conversation or not.
The shape of the box itself emphasizes these themes. For example, the large table–like surface keeps people at a distance, except for the fact that they can duck under it and get up right close to me, though to do that they need to break visual contact with me. Finally even if they do duck under the table I am still protected. I am in a metal box.