Monday, 7 April 2008

There is More to You than Meets the Eye

The common English expression “more than meets the eye” means that a thing or situation is more complicated than it first appears.

The objective of this performance was multivocal. In both locations, the phrase was to affirm that we are all complex beings and appreciate being recognized for this fact.

My goal was to have the choice of locations contrast with each other. I chose the Toronto Reference Library as a site where people were actively engaging with their interior self. They were investing into their own “more than meets the eye”. My performance in this location endeavored to acknowledge their efforts. The Eaton Centre was the other location chosen because, in this site, people are largely focused on their exterior selves. By handing out the cards there, I wished to draw attention to our image-obsessed society that encourages more and more image-oriented consumerism. The business card undermined the capitalist paradigm that frames most aspects of our lives. By reminding the audience that there is more to our beings than our exteriors, the performance became subtly anti-consumerist and anti-spectacle.

I was aware that due to the locations, the anonymity and the material, the audience may interpret this performance in many ways or may not interpret it at all, for example, in the case of the audience at the fountain in the Eaton Centre who seemed to think that I was handing out flyers and refused to participate. Unless asked, I chose to not indicate that it was an art performance. As I was questioning elements of the fabric of Western society, I preferred to keep the performance within that context, rather than giving it an art framework thereby potentially making it a spectacle itself.

1 comment:

Cybercíclope said...

Always nice to see you, Alex!

Very clear the intentions with the statement you post above.