3 hour performance
Commissioned by the Hyde Park Art Center
Community Outreach continues the exploration of the contemporary body existing as commodified object and its promotional function, both online and in the world. Through new relationships becoming formed between influencers and companies, the function of the being online has become exceedingly complex. The experience of being a body has become commodified and presented to companies in order to benefit their marketing team. Individuals online are simplified down to numbers and projections, essentially seeing how profitable they can be to whoever wants to access their fan base. Celebrity has moved from a status held by a select few to a set of performative actions developed to be cashed in.
Guests at the Hyde Park Art Center Gala were invited to explore the diagnostics and reach of my instagram audience and decide if being in a photo with me would be socially beneficial for them. My body was then used as a space for someone to advertise any message they wanted to my audience. My personal autonomy over the messages were of no importance, as I am simply the vessel with the audience, and the power goes to the guest, the corporation, or whatever entity that uses an influencer to spread their message. Guests were finally given an “I Met Oscar Chavez” sticker to commemorate their experience with The Artist, in addition to their photo.
I Couldn't Afford an Ad Space in ArtForum (After Macy Gray)
2 month performance
Using one's image solely for self promotion is intrinsic to the millennial experience. In our contemporary state of performance for web via social media, the power of the shared web image may supercede that of a traditional ArtForum ad. In reference to Macy Gray in 2001, I embarked on a Promo Tour and wore this garment to events, podcast recordings, photoshoots, and any other spaces in which I was promoting my solo show.
My digital presence promoted my show further than my body could. The digital presence of the dress infiltrated photos of others, web profiles of arts spaces, and artist profiles.
State of The Union After Parkland, Florida
Racially Ambiguous Curly Haired Influencer
Racially Ambiguous Curly Haired Influencer positions the artist in the ubiquitous role of the influencer. Acting as a channel between large company and a niche internet audience, the influencer has become an increasingly coveted and nuanced position. These stills & videos explore the amount of agency given to someone in that position. In order to be in full creative control of the content being produced in this power scheme, one must create it without the creative intrusion of a third party.
For these photos and videos to exist back in this power scheme, they have to be general enough for any company to apply their logo and use it for their own capitalist purposes. The influencer is simplified to their true role, a vessel for corporations to further their marketing strategies. The figure is fully submissive to the internet and its image is now open ended for use by the public domain.
Files are downloadable HERE
Documentation by Glenda Lissette
Documentation of ongoing performance, "Morning Validation"
20" x 16"
Oil on canvas
Left in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago at Randolph & Peoria.
Documentation of ongoing performance, "Carl Andre Protest"
20" x 16"
Oil on canvas
I Didn't Come Here To Make Friends
1 hour performance
I Didn't Come Here To Make Friends brings performance from the anonymous public into the most intimate private space: the home. Using the open home as a transient performance space, the audience is invited to arrive at any time during that one hour, and follow a schedule available at the door. Aligning with José Esteban Muñoz's theory, situatuing Allan Kaprow's 18 Happenings in 6 Parts & public sex in New York City at the time as performance contemporaries, I retreat from the public space and explore the performance of the queer body in the home.
Pictured: Fashion Nova Cut Piece, How To Make A Painting
No One on the Internet Has Heard My Voice
15 minute performance
No One on the Internet Has Heard My Voice reflects on the every day performance of social media. Through use of props and materials, an idealized space for taking a selfie is created. This space can then be taken out into the world and performed anywhere. Many people have specific spaces in their everyday life that they rely on as a reliable ideal selfie space. By performing this common task in a public space, I question the shame connected to outstretching your arm and taking a selfie in front of strangers. If one can transcend that shame, then why not take every opportunity to take your very best selfie?
Full documentation can be seen HERE
The Horowitz Manifesto is a public declaration of the politics of a Clueless generation. As a creator of culture, I must be aware of how cultural productions of my upbringing have effected the construction of my identity. Pasting a manifesto of my views on life is a reaction to a political climate in which the views of minorities are repressed. Using exact quotes from a movie reflecting on the mid 1990's is a reminder of the cyclical nature of time and the progress, or lack thereof, in American politics and society.
One Person Protest
One Person Protest began as a reaction to luxury brands co-opting language from protest and contemporary social movements for graphic tees or marketing campaigns. Can an article of clothing be a tool for protest in every day life? By creating an outfit that reflected some social issues important to me and bringing it into the world, I explored the potential of using the singular body to protest in any space I take up.
TUTORIAL: How To Contour Ur Face To Perfection With the Racism and Misogyny of Grindr
1 minute performance
This performance for video utilizes tools of disidentification, which was introduced by José Esteban Muñoz, in order to explore my place in a larger gay dating environment. Many apps, like Grindr, perpetuate images of white male masculinity that are not inclusive of queer minorities. This video co-opts popular sped up Instagram make up tutorials and messages or text found on Grindr in order to create an absurd tutorial on how to use the offensive language to contour a face. This video was uploaded to Instagram and it is important that it exists in the mix of hundreds of other videos like it.
Full video can be seen HERE
Realness Is A Drag
4 minute performance
"To be able to blend. Thats what realness is. If you can pass the untrained eye, or even the trained eye, and not give away the fact that you're gay, that's when its realness."
- Dorian Corey
Realness is a Drag explores the ways in which homogenous masculinity can be expressed as a form of drag. I chose to perform in Chicago's financial district, a place in which the uniform of the executive can be seen along the sidewalks. It is a place in which I have never felt comfortable and will always stick out. By dressing in this uniform, I was able to "pass" visually and utilize the lip sync, an important aspect of a drag performance, to subvert my exterior image and undermine my realness.
Full video documentation can be seen HERE
Big Blue Suit
Big Blue Suit began as an ode to my 5 years in college. My plan was to visit each building I had a class in during my time on UIC's campus, and cut a piece of my suit off. This shedding of a layer worked both as a form of leaving parts of myself across campus, and revealing my
vulnerable body underneath my suit to a larger anonymous student body as more pieces were removed. These pieces would be documented in photos in their specific environment and presented in the end.
If the initial question was "What happens when an art work is taken outside of its art context and brought into the larger public?", I got my answer when 4 policemen approached me with their guns drawn demanding that I lay on the floor. The piece was cut short merely 10 minutes in due to calls from students to police reporting a "clown stabbing himself" and "threatening to stab others." What I was left with was pieces of a failed performance that simultaneously gave me a clear answer I had not expected.
Installed through the Gallery 400 Lobby Competition through April 31st at 400 S. Peoria.
Work In A Vacuum
25 minute performance
"Work In A Vacuum" addresses issues of isolation in art making, specifically painting. The vacuum works as a mark making tool as well as a physical space in which this painting is performed. If a performance occurs outside of an art context with no audience, can it exist as an artwork? And if not, is this true for all other mediums? This work questions the role of the viewer, and any other forms of art communities, and the ways in which they implicate the work.
Full video documentation can be seen HERE
Audio by Christopher Fanelli
My Own Personal Catalyst
30 minute performance
"My Own Personal Catalyst" is a three part performance series in a continuation of works exploring the lines between artist, art piece, and viewer. These 30-minute performances reflect the isolating nature of painting and move this action into a public space. Heavily inspired by the Catalysis performance works by Adrian Piper in the 70's, these works aim to implicate the viewer into a painting in progress. They occupy spaces such as elevators, street corners, and storefronts, in which viewers must choose whether to confront the artwork that is in their way, or continue on without any acknowledgment. Rather than view a painting on 4 white walls in an art environment, viewers are now expected to confront an interactive body becoming the artwork in a space that gives them no art context.
Full video documentation can be seen here: PART 1, PART 2, PART 3.
yours mine & ours
60 minute performance
Viewers were invited to contribute to a collaborative painting in which the artist becomes the canvas. I was restrained to an easel and unresponsive as an anonymous form for 60 minutes and relied on the viewers to come and complete the painting.