Photos and outfits by Olek.
The phrase “a picture is worth 1000 words” was created for photos like the ones you are about to see. These photos will make much more sense if you read THIS POST first. To briefly summarize, myself and 5 other performers wore body suits crocheted by artist Olek. At the Brooklyn Art Festival, we performed a piece by Yoko Ono, where we communicated with strangers solely through handshakes. As I mentioned before, this experience was truly amazing, extremely eye opening and I would like to thank Olek again for letting me be a part of it. Also, if you can’t get enough of Olek’s amazing work, you can see her solo exhibit at the Christopher Henry Gallery (at 127 Elizabeth Street) called “Knitting is for Pus****” through October 17, 2010, and I highly recommend you check it out.
That is me in this wonderful outfit you see above. As the instructions in the Yoko Ono piece are written, we are to poke our hand through a canvas and communicate exclusively through shaking hands.
We were all situated in different locations and after the performance was over, we all reflected on similar experiences of how people reacted to us. Overall, the general consensus was that children appeared to be untainted by the world and were the nicest to us. Most adults tended to have a fear of the unknown and refused to shake our hands. We were not pushy about it either. We just stood in our respective locations ready and willing for any human interaction that would receive us. It was pretty sad how many people were not interested or felt the need to try and make fun of us! The joke is on the people that attempted to make a mockery out of us. Also, we were at an art fair, where you’d think people would be more inclined to interact with performance art. It would be very interesting to see the results of this piece being performed in various situations (like a park on a normal weekend day, in front of a school, in front of a museum).
See more photos after the jump.
It was also a wonderful experience to be totally anonymous. We were free of cell phones, personal belongings and we were instead sexless and raceless humans looking to share the world with other humans. As I’ve said before, this experience was so amazing to be a part of. I know that I will certainly not take for granted simple things any more such as showing or receiving kindness from my fellow humans who are sharing the planet with me. Even if you didn’t have the same experience I had, I hope reading these words will make you open your heart a little more each day.