Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Performance Piece

The performance was a complete success and i think overshot our expectations at points. The crowd interaction was perfect and exactly what we needed. I got a lot of response afterwards asking what the performance was about and why we did it, which I then used as a perfect opportunity to pitch the next part of the project.

As a group I think we maintained characters well with the exception being when Wesley screamed, which I did my best not to laugh but couldn't hold it in. Just the response from the crowd was beautiful, the room went dead silent for a solid ten seconds before anyone resumed their previous conversations.

It was fun to me to listen to the people talk about us as though we were not there. As though we were just as much an art exhibit as a painting on the wall. They soon accepted us a part of their surroundings and went on with normal life, but we were not met without a sense of curiosity from our observers. The best part was when people would come talk to one of us and we would just go on with our meal completely ignoring them. I remember towards the beginning of the performance when the people were lining up to get their food they would all just stare at us with inquisitive looks on their face, but very few of them actually came up to is, as though they were intimidated by our difference, yet they had no reservations about staring blatantly at someone they did not know.

I think we actually had a lot of layers to this, which were only added on to by the people observing it. At first I approached this as a statement on normality and absurdity, but then it became a much broader statement on American ideals and values as pertaining to, in this particular case, Thanksgiving dinner.

To me, the only thing that I would change would be our interaction with audience, I think that we should have fully assumed our characters identities and then interacted with the crowd. I think that ignoring them did make a poignant statement about art and observation, and dealing with things or people that are different or out of the ordinary, every day experience. It could work either way though, our silence I think made just as big a statement, if not bigger, than anything we could have done interacting with the audience. I think that our disengagement from the audience actually allowed them to think more abstractly about the concept and be more receptive the performance as a piece.

The whole performance was documented by a photographer, which to me was not adequate documentation. A video camera could have captured not only the performance but peoples engagement with it.

As far as implementing performance into my later pieces, I don't know, but I certainly won't rule it out at this point.

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