CLOSE (THE DISTANCE)
In this performance, I wanted the onlooker to deal with my presence, my living body, and my smiling welcome. I also wanted the poignancy of being touched by someone, by having the onlooker touch me in lieu of verbalizing one’s feelings. The performance allows one to make that missing speech apparent in an imprint of my body, to embody that desire by “writing” a postcard. So, in order to close the distance physically, emotionally, and conceptually, I asked the audience to do the following:
- Take a blank postcard. 2. Think of something you have wanted to say to someone, but have left unsaid. 3. Imagine how that feeling might look. 4. Choose a part of my body and ink it with the roller. 5. Press your postcard against my inked skin. 6. Hold the feeling. 7. Mail the postcard to someone far away.
A young man who recently lost his mother took a print of my breast. A lady who wanted to say something to her dead father asked me afterwards how to post it to him. Her father had been cremated the Hindu way, and I instinctively allowed that cremation is a mailing. It cleanses, absolves, discharges. I had an artist ask me to offer my tongue, and he made a print with my rather invisible saliva. I do not know what was left unsaid, but my tongue said it. This performance acknowledges that we are relational beings. It is not just my feet on a stage and your ass on a chair. We meet in hope, in materialized feelings, in making magic together on a postcard.