Lenguaje And Betrayal, 1992

Art Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

Lenguaje And Betrayal is a Performance/Installation in collaboration with artist Lisa Kaftori. We projected the word ‘woman’ as found in the Webster's dictionary and used the obsolete definitions to build a backdrop. During the performance, viewers can hear a soundtrack with readings from the dictionary blog with testimonials of women talking about their experience of womanhood, often contradicting the dictionary.

The piece is a criticism of the language, identity, and symbols attributed to women in Western culture. The performance itself challenged the authority of language and the dictionary itself as a source of "truth." As our bodies moved in space, the text lost solidity. We swang against the frame, skillfully touching it with our feet, without breaking it. Eventually we gathered around the window frame, we put lipstick on and we kissed through the glass. 

Multiple media: swing, window frame, red carnations, projection, 5 min. soundtrack, performance.

Dimensions: variable, room-size. Duration: 5 min.

Performance Stills.

Photo credit: Michael Honer