Run Until The Heart Stops Beating

An homage to my friend and fellow performance artist Jenna Kline. Created for Performancy Forum: Holding/Withholding and Indulgence/Austerity curated by Esther Neff.

One of the things I admire about Jenna Kline as an artist is her ability to create lasting images. Whether it is a heart impaled on a stiletto or extreme zip-tie self bondage, she always pushes the visual aspect of her performance to the forefront. These images pay service to a body of work that is deeply personal and introspective.

Jenna and I have both lost a lot of blood in pursuit of similar empathetic/artistic truths. An area where our art intersects is the use of pain and endurance as a catalyst for social understanding.

In honor of our mutual bloodloss I would like to stage a performance that intermixes Jenna’s use of iconography, my love of audience interaction, and our shared use of physical exertion as a tool for empathy.

Photos by Greg Paul.

The performance begins. I waltz with audience members. First one, then many all at once. I wanted to reference Jenna’s Steak Waltz piece while making it my own. Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 11.13.31 PM

As a form of self-flagellation, I beat my self savagely in the face with two pig hearts as a direct reference to “But Now”.

I squish one of the hearts with my foot. I exert myself physically– I want to feel my heart beat, so I can strap the other pig heart over it.

I add a workout routine to the performance as a way to mix our visual metaphors.

I exert my self more and more. I want my real heart to make the pig heart beat. I make audience members waltz with me again. I press the bloody heart close to their bodies. I then have them cut the heart off.

I drop my shorts and reveal that I have been wearing panties the whole time. I take my dirty panties off, package them, and sell them to an audience member. This last action is a reference to a similar performance by Jenna, who ended up being the lucky buyer.