to have, to hold
Intimacy (emotional and not always romantic) can be thought of a tenuous exchange of power. One offers something of themselves and in many cases without knowing if it will be reciprocated. This exchange and the vulnerable state we place ourselves within has lasting effects. This vulnerability can be met with acceptance, embarrassment, trauma, or grief, however, one cannot always know what to anticipate.
The performance intervention is a simple gesture of offering a large quantity of fruit to the viewer, primarily raspberries as they are a historic symbol of kindness and fragility. The performance consists of two parts- holding out of the fruit as an offering to the viewer which then transitions to holding of the fruit close into the body.
Women are often faced with misinterpretations of their kindness all the time. While holding the fruit, the juice of the fruit will seep through the fabric and stain. The fabric will sag and drip, indicating the lasting effects, both good and bad, of intimacy.
This gesture is a struggle to hold the fruit close to the body without dropping. This is done by collecting the fruit in the skirt of a white garment and folding it up to the body. Folding up the skirt will expose the genital area and thus shift the power dynamics between the viewer and subject. Is this exposure a humiliation or an invitation?
The performance resolves as all the unclaimed fruit drops to the ground once the performer lets go and leaves the area, garment vividly stained.
an act of offering “kindness” in the form of fruit; duration: 20 minutes; NEXUS, the international initiative by ARTerial Performance Lab (APLAB) in the program “Urban Somatologies” during Miami Art Week, Lummus Park, Miami Beach, FL; 2018