ETERNAL MISS TEXAS BIENNIAL
As self-proclaimed Miss Texas Biennial, I performed an official opening ceremony at the 2013 edition of the Texas Biennial accompanied by my suite, which was comprised of a personal assistant, bodyguard, paparazzi, merchandise girl, announcer and a red carpet handler. During the first part of the ceremony, the announcer gathered the crowd outside and volunteers were asked to hold the official ribbon that I proceeded to cut. Afterwards, I entered the exhibit and walked towards an empty pedestal. I would always walk on the red carpet. Each time I reached the end of the carpet, the red carpet holder would roll it and unroll it again in front of me to allow me to continue. I climbed on the pedestal, greeted the crowd and climbed down. My speech was limited to a few utterances meant to be innocent such as “Let’s all work together to abolish world peace!” (Who listens to pageant winners?) Spectators who asked me for autographs were “scanned” by the bodyguard to make sure they did not have any bad intention before approaching me. The same ceremony got repeated over and over during the opening night.
This lighthearted performance stems from child-like make-believe games. Rather than mocking or endorsing pageantry, it aims at creating a sense of joy and community devoid of competition. Spectators of the performance become participants, either as spectators within the performance, as ribbon holders or fans asking for autographs (photographs were sold on site for either 10 cents, $10 or $20 depending on what the buyer wanted to pay, pointing out that there is no absolute value). As it gets repeated, the ceremony loses its original significance and becomes a hybrid of ritual and game.