Monumental Autopoeisis (Leave My Right Side Free to Summon the Workers)

This performance was realized as part of the opening reception for the exhibition As Soon As I Open My Eyes I See A Monument, curated by Bart Pushaw, held in the Laboratory Research Gallery. The performance took place at 5:30pm on Wednesday, October 19, and lasted approximately 30 minutes. Documentation by CW Brooks, director of the gallery.

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The following text was written for the performance, but was not displayed during the action: “The legend of Queen Rozafa (a tale common in one form or another in several places in the Balkans) tells of three brothers who sought to build a castle. Each night, the walls of the castle collapsed. An old wise man told the brothers to make a sacrifice to ensure the castle’s longevity, and the wife of the youngest of the three brothers—Rozafa—agreed to be sacrificed. However, she asked that her right eye be left outside the wall to watch her son, that right arm be left outside to cradle him, and that her right breast be left outside the wall to nurse her child. In this work, I transpose certain aspects of this legend into the socialist realm, taking the place of the woman’s body and instead subsuming my own body to the demands of ideology. I offer my own body as the armature for a statue celebrating the working masses, and ask only that my right side be left free to summon the workers in revolution. The audience is encouraged to participate in covering the left side of my body in clay, eliminating my individuality and delivering my body into the service of the global struggle for the working people.