TWINKLE: Pics & Video

5 minute video excerpt

The performance “TWINKLE: Traveler Beneath the Stars” was a collaboration between artists Jason Jenn and Vojislav Radovanovic, based on the Radovanovic’c exhibition themes.  Visitors received a surprise, arriving to the gallery and seeing the exhibition set up as normal – but in a span of 5 minutes Jason and Vojislav transformed the look of the space with lights and some additions to the set made from pieces of mylar. Jason replaced a drawing on cardboard “Unidentified Immigrant in Paris, 2016” that lay on the floor as a centerpiece of the exhibition. When audiences re-entered the space, they were confronted with Jason as a sleeping homeless man and were forced to wait for the piece to begin. The crowd had to deal with the discomfort of not knowing what to do with the situation presented them, having interactions and conversations among themselves, which became its own performance art piece.

The performance finally began with Jason reciting an original poem by Radovanovic, in which the homeless man is taken back in time to a childhood memory of making a playhouse out of cardboard. Jason then proceeded to take the audience on a very human journey, relating the housing crisis in Los Angeles to the current political climate surrounding immigration and the story that all humans are refugees since Adam and Eve were exiled from Eden. Using stars as the central theme, Jason linked the celestial objects to the cultural obsession with celebrity, weaving a story that reminded people that they possessed the ability to be their own gods and saviors, and exposing the hypocrisy in which religion, nationalism, and capitalism were used as excuses for various atrocities and crimes against humanity throughout history.

click on images in the gallery below to see larger size

15 Minutes – about TWINKLE

I felt urged to write about a 15 minute experience I recently had while laying motionless on the center of the MuzeuMM art gallery floor this weekend with a captive audience waiting for me to begin the piece “TWINKLE: Traveler Beneath the Stars”. It may take you 15 minutes (or more) to fully read should you care to, but I felt urged to share some of the profound results and messages that came from the experience. Andy Warhol said we’d all get our 15 minutes of fame, which was one of several sub-themes of the performance, so it makes sense to have people wait that long, but it isn’t why it happened. It happened unexpectedly partly due to longstanding relationship I have with Hermes (the trickster, messenger God – thank you Mercury retrograde for communication glitches), but it was NOT a mistake. As my performance art mentor, the late Rachel Rosenthal would say, that was what “the genie” of live performance wanted and those minutes became filled with unimaginable relevance.

I was lying on the gallery floor as a reference to one of the central art pieces created by Serbian-born Vojislav Radovanović in his exhibition “PRAYER FOR TRAVELERS: Diary of an Immigrant” based on his first year living in America during a politically charged time, reflecting his emotions on the “themes of love, acceptance, and the universal immigrant experience, including displacement, cultural heritage, and the power of memory” that is “the perfect antidote to the country’s current cultural shame: the present administration’s handling of immigrants” in a manner that is “so sweet and beautiful it is heartbreaking” (words coincidentally written by another genie…Genie Davis,  from her Art and Cake review). The art piece involved a piece of cardboard lying on the gallery floor painted with a sleeping man curled up in a fetal position. It’s both a self portrait and a portrait of a homeless refugee he met while living in Paris. In working closely with Vojislav to create the performance piece based on his themes, it became clear to us that we had to begin the performance with me replacing the art piece on the gallery floor. It was partly out of practical consideration so the work was not stepped upon and that we had the central space free to do the performance. But it became clear to do so and have me address the current homeless crisis occurring in Los Angeles, as the performance was about having compassion for all of us as fellow travelers on this planet together and the deep responsibility we have in being humane in an era where we are overrun with a severe lack of it in our leadership.

I had deep reservations tackling such a thorny issue as a white male privileged with a roof over my head, but it feels like the type of responsibility of engagement we must all assume at this point in our history in order to evolve and survive culturally. Lying on the floor was just a performance art piece, but it opened up my already pretty open heart in ways I had not expected. I cannot fully explain the experience of lying in a vulnerable position upon the ground like that. The footsteps of audiences coming into the space pounding upon the floor were like an approaching army. The whispers, laughs, coughs, and other strange noises from the audience took on new, foreign, almost haunted house quality of disconnected sounds. The movement of a bench scrapping the ground becomes a monstrous roar. A plastic cup falling on the ground becomes a thunderous clash. I can only imagine what the outside world must sound like to someone living on the street. It’s surely terrifying.

After a few minutes, the audience became somewhat settled down and it seemed clear that they were all in place. I suppose very well I could have begun the performance. I was waiting for my cue. There was some miscommunication about giving me a signal of a bell – a tinkle for the twinkle to begin, but that didn’t happen. I could have begun at any time, knowing full well that the audience was ready, but something inside me said to keep on waiting. I was allowing myself to open up all my senses and feel for the right cue to emerge. I would know when it was time to begin, there would be a sign somehow, I just knew there would. In that moment I thought about my training in improvisational performance art. Rachel Rosenthal would have us do performance pieces that she lovingly called “blowing it out the ass,” which was to say – we’re just going to let it fly and see what happens! In those moments, she would compel us to wait for the “genie” to give us the signal to enter the stage. In doing such training, one would find themselves inevitably stumbling in at the wrong moment – it may have seemed like the right time, but you could see it as the audience member easily when someone interrupted the scene too soon. Waiting in the wings we were often so eager to go on because we had some fabulous costume or nervous excitement and we were ready to leap out onto the stage and do our thing. But we really had to “listen” for the right moment. We were urged to be patient, and that if we truly opened ourselves up – we’d know and be open to the proper moment.  I miss those days of performing improv weekly under Rachel’s mentorship – I departed the company in 2009. The Rachel Rosenthal Company troupe continues to create improv performances regularly at her studio, and I urge people to see them sometime – it’s a truly remarkable evening of live and unexpected theatre. Lying on the floor for a mere fifteen minutes waiting for the right moment, I could palpably feel her spirit with me…and there was something lovely about having those moments feeling the connection.

Apparently there was a lot going on with the audience while they waited for me to begin. I was ready to go, but something – some invisible force that I can only say was “the genie” was sort of holding me there. When the planned cue did not occur, the “genie” was able to have its way and gave the audience a rare experience to interact with waiting. Apparently after five minutes or so, a handful of people left. Staring at a person curled up was not interesting to them and I really don’t blame them. Consider it the genie’s way of gentle weeding. From feedback I received from several people in the audience, they really valued the process of waiting. It offered them a moment to reflect on several things, including their own humanity and how they usually ignore people on the street. And during the process of waiting, they got to see a performance from the audience themselves. The various reactions and whispers and murmurs. How do people react in such a situation? Someone came up from the audience and placed a dime next to me – surely a reference to “brother, can you spare a dime?” But I didn’t move. As much as they were hoping that would make me start the performance, I couldn’t tell what was going on and that really wasn’t the right cue to move.

I was on my own little journey. The 15 minutes became a bit of a fever-trip like experience with my eyes closed and hearing the chaos of the world around me. Nothing was silent. I said the audience was somewhat settled down, but it was never quiet. The noise from outside the gallery could still be heard. Cars whizzed by. A person who actually was living on the street came in to the gallery apparently and joined the audience. He was talking to himself, and of course he was welcome to be there. But I got my own little lesson during that time, to understand the noisy and confusing world that life on the street without a home can be. I’ve been so fortunate to always feel at home in the world. As angry and upset and disappointed I can be in this crazy world, I have always felt both simultaneously alien to it and completely at home in it. So to have 15 minutes where I actually felt homeless, was a bit of an indulgent neccessity for gaining some perspective. 

Some folks also mentioned that it reminded them of a Marina Abramović piece. Like Vojislav, she is also a Serbian-born artist, so we’ve  spoken at length about her work. I know many people who either admire or loathe works by her. I experienced “The Artist Is Present” exhibition at MoMA in NYC and a friend of mine, whom also trained with Rachel Rosenthal, Yozmit, was part of the show recreating her body of work. Vojislav and I also discussed that the artwork he created of the homeless man sleeping in a fetal position referenced a piece of art he made for his first college solo exhibition “Bath Culture” – which also took place in a gallery that Marina Abramović showed her work. And after the show I was gifted the memory of one of the first performance art pieces I ever created in college – helping to complete the circle.

In one of my earliest works I chained up and placed a lock upon all the chairs that the class (in this case they became the audience and the performers) would normally expect to sit in. I drew a line across the stage and stood on the opposite line from the class next to the key which lay on the floor. As the people arrived they inquired as to how they could get the seats unlocked so we could finally begin the class. There was much discussion with each other about what to do. Finally someone, we’ll call “Adam” decided to cross the line and attempted to grab the key. I stopped him. An altercation occurred. We wrestled. It got violent. The class erupted in chaos and urged it to stop. They pleaded for Adam to just give up and come back behind the line. He finally agreed to do so. The class proceeded to ask me questions about how they could get the key and eventually discovered that only one of them would be allowed to get the key and open the lock, the question was  – which one was going to be allowed to do it? They went through one by one asking if they could be the person to unlock the chairs. They were surprised when we exhausted the list of people in the classroom about unlocking the chairs. Finally one of them realized, that every person had asked if they could unlock the chairs, except Adam. He had already tried to grab the key, but he was rejected and the fight occurred, so he didn’t think about asking. He asked, “May I have the key?” I answered “Yes, since you asked, you may.” In truth, I didn’t know Adam was going to be the one I would pick, until after we had our fight. He didn’t get the key by force, he got the key by asking permission. The teacher, the late Hans Breder loved the piece and according to a friend who later became his assistant for years following, Hans would talk about that piece frequently. It said something about human interaction, unplanned moments, and turning the audience into the performers. I actually never liked performance art when I started taking the class, having seen only a handful of examples and thinking it stupid. I was only really taking the class in order to make some video-art, but we were required to do several types of interdisciplinary work in the course of the semester. I may have caught the bug for performance art after that night.

So…there I was waiting for the right moment to release the audience from staring at me just lying on the floor. Finally, I felt a whisper and a change in temperature and energy that said “ok, go.” A few seconds earlier there had been a giant door slam somewhere – or so it sounded like – nothing was certain, but it felt like a good enough signal. At that same moment, an audience member placed a silver mylar star that was part of the set upon my foot. I didn’t feel it, but it was the action that “activated” me.  It was a sweet, little gesture, and one that had I actually been aware of physically I would have started with. For folks who know my penchant for feet, someone placing a star on my foot…is definitely a sign to begin!

Of course, all of this may mean very little to other people, but in my life I have always been open to these subtle connections and correlations. I share this with you now as an attempt to open up a bit about the mysteries that I admire at play in my own life. I consider such moments as inside cosmic jokes. Little insights given by the Universe, or little nods by Hermes, the trickster magician messenger god. Because, it is only after the performance or event that one gets the complete picture of “why” something happened.

And it truly opens up my heart when events like this take place. I wanted to create a performance that spoke to the issues we are dealing with in our world at the moment. I wanted to present something that was very human and spoke to the humanity in others. I know from the response of most of the people there, that indeed it touched them. I connected with the stardust inside them as I hoped to do, and I learned a lot about myself and what I want to in order to be a better human moving forward. I am certain that “TWINKLE: Traveler Beneath the Stars” will manifest again in some form, so if you missed it – don’t worry – it will likely emerge again, although I am not certain if there will be another 15 minutes…that may have had it’s moment. Who knows how long it will take next time…but I do hope that we’ll all be more aware of each other as fellow travelers on this journey of life beneath the stars together.

Twinkle: Traveler Beneath the Stars

It’s a pleasure to invite you to experience a new, original performance piece:

“TWINKLE: Traveler Beneath the Stars” on Saturday, Nov 24 at 8 PM.
Doors open at 7 PM.
It’s based on the themes surrounding and serving as a closing reception for the exhibition “PRAYER FOR TRAVELERS: Diary of an Immigrant” by Vojislav Radovanovic.

MuzeuMM Gallery
4817 W Adams Blvd, LA 90016

Hope to see you there fellow Travelers! It’s FREE and you’ll find yourself leaving with some stardust in your soul and perhaps even a piece of fantastic art!

Sermon at the Cathedral of the Freeways

“Offer up your prayers to move with ease through traffic congestion at the Cathedral of the Freeways!”

Thursday night saw the opening exhibition of “3 by 3” the second public offering at Virtularium as part of the El Segundo Art Walk on August 16. I created a brand new multimedia performance video art piece especially designed for an 18 screen curved video wall that was 9,720 pixels wide by 3,840 tall – a most unusual arrangement, but one that allows for a truly interesting immersive experience for viewers to step into and almost feel like they are on a ride. I had the experience of setting up the digital display for a commercial installation at the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, so it was a pleasure to design something of pure artistic merit and of my own imagination. The reaction of the hundreds of El Segundo Art Walk participants couldn’t have been any better. I saw a lot of people taking out their phones to record my video installation along with the entire dazzling array of works in the Virtularium environment. Also on display were two works including the new piece “Untitled #9, Part 2”  by Virtularium founder and director of programming, Jon 9 and a piece called “Travelers” by my collaborative art partner, Vojislav Radovanovic (who also did the excellent body paint job to turn me into a concrete saint/deity).

 

Artist Statement:

LA is known for movies, sunshine, beaches, and lots and lots of traffic. After spending endless hours on the freeways commuting, I was given little choice but to find a sense of beauty in the massive megalithic structures of certain interchanges, in particular by the intersection of the 110 and 105 (which also inspired the opening dance number of “LA LA Land”). The grand columns and swooping ramps reminded me of a gothic cathedral, albeit one that honors the busy bustling metropolis and massive population growth it represents. The concept has gestated for years, but now, with the 18 screen-videowall structure at Virtularium and its complex arrangement of screens and curves that offer different playing spaces, I designed the piece as such so that the Cathedral of the Freeways at last receives a vision of its concrete deity and a variety of stained glass windows to populate it.

 

 

 

ONE Archives Summer Garden Party

ONE Archives and the ONE Queer Garden Club (OQGC) hosted a Summer Garden Party on Saturday, August 11 to celebrate the much needed make-over of the succulent garden space on the west side of the building. In 2017 the ONE Queer Garden Club was formed to with the mission to “manifest more beauty in the world” by helping to transform the unused and unmanaged succulent garden space at the main Archive building into a viable public garden and event space. It’s been a true honor volunteering my time as coordinator with a great team of people involved in OQGC for such a good cause – the ONE Archives is the world’s largest  depository of LGBTQ materials!

It was also a personal mission to honor my dear friends the late Stuart Timmons and Mark Thompson by fixing up the space as a Legacy Garden. Both had a role in planting the original succulent plants sometime around 2000-2002, when the Archives took over a former fraternity house and became part of the USC Libraries and Stuart was then the Executive Director of ONE. The garden stands where the former sand volley ball  court once was. The garden has basically been unmanaged for over ten years, used infrequently for a few special events here and there (like a performance art piece involving a toilet seat – which was then left in the garden – we have since turned it into a lovely planter box!) I saw that the garden contained so much potential for a

great community garden and event space and the great folks at ONE Foundation and Archives have been super supportive in our efforts!

The Summer Garden Party was organized by the ONE Foundation and sponsored by Michaeljohn Horne & Thomas E. Jones. The event featured tours of the Archives, a special plant art crafting workshop by Mr. Voice Love, food, drinks, and live entertainment by Queertet (www.queertet.com). A few short speeches were made by the ONE Board Chair Jeff Soref, ONE Foundation Executive director Jennifer Gregg , Archivist Loni Shibuyama, and me!

Below are some Before Pics of the Garden to compare how wonderful the transformation has been:

 

 

Virtularium Profile on El Segundo TV

El Segundo TV recently profiled video artist Jon9 and the Virtularium Gallery space as we launched our immersive multimedia experience in a rare public opportunity and participated in the El Segundo Art Walk for the first time on June 21.

I was interviewed about why we’re excited to present such videowall technology as a methodology for expansive storytelling – we’re producing some original content and in using such a platform the possibilities are truly endless. We enjoy being part of the burgeoning technology scene that is currently revitalizing the historic industrial core south of LAX known as Smoky Hollow. The eclectic mix of businesses still has a cozy small town feel to it and is part of what makes the City of El Segundo so great. Watch here:

 

Closing OUT Glendale Pride

It was a pleasure to participate in the City of Glendale, California’s first ever PRIDE month celebration. Thanks to the efforts of folks like Grey James, Gary Freeman, Nick Macierz, Ben Evans and others, the ACE/121 Gallery participated in an exhibition of art and worked with Hank Henderson of homo-centric to organize a literary evening of spoken word. Here is my contribution – the original poem “I painted my fingernails a rainbow”:

 

I painted my fingernails a rainbow
To help answer the question what makes you queer?
   (original version: so you would know what kind of person I am)

(holding up the right pinky – painted pink)

See here on my pinky –  a dollop so dinky
But powerful, potent and purposely pink
Within its tiny confines my little girl dream twinkles
To distract from all the growing wrinkles
Once upon a time you might think pink was weak
But have you not seen its profound power united?
Not tickled pink but ticked off pussy pink and taking no more shit
From the stink of anything foul
Pink is strength imparted from its corresponding tender parts
To nab something drab and transform the norm
Oh pink! Queerest shade under the sun
Oh pink! Always on the brink of something fun
Pink! Pink! Pink! I don’t think I could squeal any more in delight
Than I do for you, pink!

(holding up the left pinky – painted purple)

And on the other hand reflecting time so refined
The regal and stately shade known as purple
Properly placed for my dainty old lady to sip her tea
In calm and comfort with a sense of high society
Not wishing any harm just wisdom upon everyone
Well respected as reflected through the ages like the sages
Dressed in various sensible shades and bountiful brocades so glorious purple
The perspicacity of plum, the vibrancy of violet
The exquisite ambiance imbued by amethyst
Or the light lift that you get as a gift from lavender
Vaulted and exalted in its holiness loyal to its royalty
Purposefully elegant and tastefully poignant – purple!

(holding up both thumbs – painted green)

Now hang loose you’ll find on my hand’s caboose
My apprehensible and indispensable opposable green thumbs
To represent the lush Eden inside me
Both the untamed jungles of sensuous mystery within
Alongside my meticulously groomed hothouse
Now should I still be found sucking my thumb
It means I’ve come to enjoy the endless green pastures of delight
All manner of savory succulents and vivacious vegetation for elation
For that is how my garden grows
But it’s also where my envy shows
I hope my bitter herbs aren’t tossed in the mix too often
A little spice when I’m not feeling nice
For should I bite my thumb at you – it is indeed intended as an insult
What can I say, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry
It’s only natural – green

(holding up left ring finger – painted yellow)

Now watch out! Pay attention! Look here!
You’ve been warned, but don’t be too alarmed dear fellow
That beneath the sunny disposition warm and mellow
To be faced with vibrant vivid livid not really so timid yellow
Now, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fear
That you’ll dismiss me as a mere lilting daffodil or dandelion queer
You can paint me a coward yellow
But whatever might dribble down my pant leg metaphorically
Is merely one moment of this bold and buttery blonde – so beware!
Should I release my wits upon you’ll be showered and certainly not in praise
Like the wasp or bee that stings you will feel the burn
Caution is required for such awesomeness acquired
Highlighted in the accent of yellow

 (holding up right ring finger – painted blue)

And here we find ourselves at blue
Among the throngs a frequent favorite hue
Not just for baby boys, but go on paint up your beards
And release your tension lest I mention your balls
Sunk into a funk of a picasso period somber mood indigo
The weight of regrets where blue bruises forge tearful rivulets
Or fleeting moments cut off too soon – come back I miss you midnight blue
Things that were never said or said with dread until all blue in the face
I want to moan – oh why do I feel so alone!?
Give me strength to embrace navy blue  – shock me into awareness electric blue
Let me dive into a pool of cool mid-century blue or
Soar once more into the vast and wild blue yonder of the sky
Oh, yes, give me smooth soothing baby blue I love you
How could I not stay true on a planet so blue!?

 (holding up left middle finger – painted orange)

Now, how to define a color that defies to rhyme
The brash and bold, does not always do what is told, orange
But do not get me started on that vile atrocity and hypocrisy
A disgrace to the particular hue and the entire human race…
But yes orange can be gaudy and audacious, bawdy and salacious
Like daggers in the eyes of sensibility
So feisty and zesty in testing the limits of taste
Tart and tangy, sweet and sultry
Appropriate color for a citrus fruit and much more to boot
The chakra source of our creative and erotic self
Sending vibrations to our imaginations from mild to wild
Orange ubiquitously encapsulates an entire season of autumnal splendor
From falling leaves to all hallowed eves
So wicked when you need it to be
So cute as a pumpkin as required
Abounding and astounding so, go for it already!
Orange you glad you did?

   (holding up right middle finger – painted red)

Now at last give in to your temptations and bite the apple red
It may be reductive, but what could be more seductive?
Such a striking stunning cunning color
Worn in all the right places and dressed to impress
Intoxicating like a fine wine – feel the rush as cheeks blush
Lips drip and bosoms blossom popping with rosy radiance and a cherry on top
So totally thrilling – and simultaneously chilling
Afterall, cut us open will we not bleed – red
Spill too much of it and we’re dead – red
Wrap us in ribbons, bandage our wounds, paint the town – red
Are we seeing nothing but – red
Are we boiling over as the world heats up in anger– red
More than a scarlet fever has reached a ferocious fervor in our head
There’s a most uncivil war of otherness overwhelming all our senses
Political fires burning bridges, burning crosses, burning truth and reason!
Witness the witless demise of our society!
Is this what we get with republican, right wing, fascist red?
No! No! No! No! Fuck you red!
We are ready to serve it right back to you
Red revolution  Red resistance Red rage
God damn you, mother fucking, what the hell is happening
If we keep this up we’ll all end up dead red!!!!!!

         (putting together both index fingers – left painted black, right painted white)

But oh there is a calm to be found in the palette of the palm
When the black and the white unite
We just might be alright
Making adjustments in this teeter totter balancing act of the universe
The cosmic dance of yin and yang through time and space
Combining all the colors, removing all the colors
The blending of sight and the absence of light
Everything and nothing
Tranquility and clarity
In the realm of possibility
Reset restore renew refresh rebegin
There is so much to be said about black and white
But they speak volumes for themselves in voluptuous wavelengths of silence
Shhhhhhhhh

As I gaze upon these fingertips I am reminded
That I possess all of this and more
A kaleidoscopic collage of colors and contradictions
And in the patchwork pattern a most dramatic chromatic diorama
My fingertips are bright little signposts
Tell tale transmissions
Of this is who I am
This is the queer I am here to be
And I see the prism you imprison behind yours as well
Free the full spectrum of who you are
We all contain Whitman’s magnificent multitudes

I painted my fingernails a rainbow
To help answer the question what makes you queer?

More Busty June

June events keep on building! The social calendar has been busy every day in June (sometimes with multiple events to keep the butterfly wings flapping). I definitely appreciate living in a city like Los Angeles that treasures its artistic diversity and queer culture.

This friday you will find me involved in two art openings on display. First in the City of West Hollywood for the opening reception of the exhibition “Out There” – at the Los Angeles Art Association / Gallery 825 as part of the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. My collage work “Reptile Mind Release” will hang on the wall along with a fantastic array of artists.

 

Second you can join be in the latter half of the evening to celebrate the city of Glendale’s first pride celebration with the opening exhibition simply entitled:  “QUEER.” The hard work from organizers of the event (Gary Freeman, Lousine Shamamian, Grey James, and others) was recognized by the Los Angeles Times. In this day and age we still have great strides to go in recognizing queer arts and culture, so it’s great to be part of this groundbreaking event for Glendale. My photograph “Beast of the Backyard Wilds” will hang along side another great group of artists. You’ll find me attending the opening during the latter half of the evening at ACE /121 Gallery.

 

 

June is Bustin’ Out All Over

The carousel of life has brought another series of event associated with June and Pride, making this another busy summertime.

I’m PROUD to have my artwork, photography, and poetry featured in the official ‘Calendar and Cultural Guide’ that the Dept. of Cultural Affairs publishes each year featuring work culled from the Los Angeles artistic community. An opening ceremony and the official unveiling of the guide was held on Wednesday, May 30. The cover image (painted by Patrick Marston)  honored openly gay city councilmember and the Bill Rosendahl Memorial Lifeguard Tower, a rainbow symbol of Venice Beach pride.

 

 

It’s exciting to live in a city that respects and celebrates its diverse culture and art – the large number of events and size of the guide attests to a vibrant and active scene.

You can download the 2018 LGBT Calendar and Cultural Guide here

View my samples, below:

 

 

Minotaur of the Mental Labyrinth

Memorial Day Monday brought together a packed audience to blast off for Planet Queer: Animal Instinct. Keeping with the theme of the evening I presented a test run of a work in progress: “Minotaur of the Mental Labyrinth” – a collaboration with painter Mr. Voice Love. Together we’re part of a team

called Flourish Projects

Group.

“Minotaur” is part of a larger piece that explores the interconnectedness of fine art paintings, mythological storytelling, contemporary references, and an intricate puzzle for audiences to solve. For this presentation, we adapted the piece in order to create a ritual that audience members could connect with and ruminate over.

The performance began with the minotaur mask over the face discussing how lately the mind has been plagued by raging thoughts like the mythological bull-man.

Rotating around I reveal the painted labyrinth on the skull and upper back, relating the myth to inner-psychological feelings surrounding the challenges of modern life. A quick discussion summarizes the myth, including the importance of how Ariadne’s thread is the key to hero Theseus’ journey success in finding his way back out of the labyrinth’s depths. A rainbow colored thread was passed out among the audience, for each member to hold onto a part of the strand – therefore connecting them all. A ritual was performed, asking the audience to meditate about how the myth relates to their life, with various questions posed during the process along the lines of:

“Who is your thread – who leads you out of the mental labyrinths? Who are you the thread for and can you answer the call of those in need? What form does the minotaur take in your life? How can you vanquish the negative thoughts?” Etc.

The larger performance will take participants on a complex journey from one subject of a painting and mythology to another.

the ReBegin is here