rocking/sucking

May 21, 2010

title: rocking/sucking
date: november 3rd, 4th and 5th, 1999
location: saint mary’s hospital center, sir mortimer b. davis jewish general hospital and montréal general hospital, montréal, québec
duration: 40 minutes each
supported by: public art as social intervention

the three interventions were unannounced (no time, date or location was given in advance) and no visual documentation was recorded on site. the work was presented orally at the conference on november 6th, 1999.


on the way home from saint mary’s hospital i stopped at the photo-booth in the metro and took these photos

rocking/sucking at saint mary’s
i enter saint mary’s hospital with my backpack containing the jar of honey. i go up to the fourth floor waiting room. i take off my back pack and sit on the floor. i assume a sitting position: feet together, legs bent, arms wrapped around knees and hands clasped together. i slowly shift my weight backwards until i surrender into the fall, into the rocking motion. i rock myself. i rock myself back and forth. i rock turning my body on its axis in a clockwise rotation. rotating twice, i stop, wait, lift myself to the standing position, retrieve my backpack and leave the building.

still on the hospital grounds i sit on a bench at the front entrance. i sit next to a man who is dressed all in white and smoking a cigarette. i take the honey-jar out of the backpack. i hold the jar in my hand. i open the lid and place it nearby. i raise my right hand and slowly submerge my fingers into the honey. i lift my honey-drenched fingers to my open mouth, close my lips around my fingers and suck. i suck and suck until all the honey is gone. i then slide my fingers through my lips and begin again. i repeat this gesture until half the honey in the jar is gone. then; i put the lid back on the jar, return the jar to my backpack, sling the backpack on my back and walk away.

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me and jess (2)

May 11, 2010

may 27, 2003
jess and i meet on the grounds of the st. james united church.  jess is already there sitting at a picnic table.  i am bringing food:  bagels, salmon, cream cheese, chocolate, yellow pepper, some chip mix with chocolate and peanuts and an exotic kind of fruit i don’t know the name of.  we sit at the picnic table facing each other and i  feed jess and jess feeds me.  we can’t put food into our own mouths.  a guy walks over and asks us if he can have some of our food cuz he doesn’t want to go into the kitchen where food is served at the church.  he sits with us and chats while we prepare his sandwhich (actually it is jss who does the preparing.)  another guy comes to sit with us and asks for a light, jess asks for a cigarette in exchange for chocolate.

me and jess

May 9, 2010

may 13, 2003

jess and i are in the metro. we are sitting together in the metro car. we begin at one end of the orange line and continue to the other end. this takes about fifty minutes. as the metro travels to the end of the line jess tells me her life story. as the metro travels back to the beginning i tell jess my life story.

may 20, 2003

jess and i are walking up the hill to the top of mont royal. on the way up the hill i tell  jess her life story as if it is my life story. i stick pretty much to the way jess told me in the metro, except i add in feelings. we are holding hands. on the way back down the mountain jess takes my life story and tells it to me as if it was her life story. we are still holding hands. jess is more imaginative in telling me my life story. she says she doesn’t remember everything i told her.