Many of my performative works are meant to be an exploration of the audience member as active participant in the work they are viewing. “Nighttime Club” was one of the few works I’ve made that is meant to be a reflection on myself and not the audience; thus, it has only been performed once.
I frequently push my body past its breaking point during performances, the idea being to elicit a primal yet empathetic response from the viewers to the carnage I/they are imposing on me. With “Nighttime Club,” I sought to push the limits of my physical endurance further than I ever have before.
During the performance, I emerged into the main warehouse floor of the Gowanus Ballroom wearing nothing but chains around my neck. There were black helium balloons tied to the chains, so that people watching from the second floor could trace my movements. Around my wrists were thick ropes that were tied to large cinder blocks. My task was to drag these cinder blocks in a circle for one hour.
Also with me were two women in costumes. One was dressed as a giant cartoon hamster (a character I sometimes play myself in other performances), the other was dressed as a stereotypical Japanese comic book heroine. These two outlandish costumes were meant to invoke these larger-than-life cartoon personas, a human personification of escapism.