Performance Memoirs at Hotel Max

Art. Radical Ethnography. Tryst.

It was like a party on acid.  I had no idea what to expect – crushed into a room with people I didn’t know – subtly manipulated to interact and engage, and before I realized it, I was sitting in the bed with 10 people I didn’t’ know holding a cake, and the artists had vanished!  It wasn’t like anything I have experienced before! -Audience member-

As participant observers, the artists engage in personal interviews with the audience to explore and uncover identity, while turning the expectations of performance inside out. Ultimately, this project juxtaposes the concepts of “public” and “private”, “performer” and “participant”.

Performance Memoirs has two primary iterations: 1.) A performance-endurance installation with the artists living in a windowed public space; 2.) An intimate performance experience for an audience of approximately ten people in a hotel room.

In the phase 1, Curry + Dillon remain up to 36 continuous hours in public spaces like storefront windows. Using water-based grease pencils, the artists and passers-by engage in conversations by writing on the window between them. These conversations are documented by the artists. Each interaction with a passer-by is photographed and printed as a 4×5 inch picture. The pictures are taped onto the window and when the entire window surface is covered, the installation is over.

In the hotel room phase 2, the audience discovers the ephemera from phase 1 as memories of the past participants told through audio recordings, photographs, journal entries, etc., hidden in dresser drawers, suitcases, and closets throughout the hotel room. The artists conduct new investigations with each new group of participants by engaging in intimate conversation and physical encounters. No one disappears without leaving behind a personal memento or imprint, which is then woven into future cycles. Duration for this experience is up to 24 hours, with new audience members invited in every hour.

Performance Memoirs has been performed in various incarnations in Seattle/WA, Portland/OR, and Burien/WA, and has been supported by the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, 4 Culture, and Art Patch.

Artists: Laura Curry, Lori Dillon, Pamela Gregory.