Shelter-in-Place is a series of twelve one-hour long video performances I did in my apartment over the first three months in quarantine. I performed simple actions, often staying in one spot, fixating my gaze on one object such as a clock, my own shadow or reflection. I have also washed my hands with soap and water for one hour, hid behind an American flag and read One Hundred Years of Solitude to the statue of a blue Buddha.
As life outside came to a halt, I wanted to stay even more still inside, exploring issues of isolation, passing time, confronting myself and our new reality.
Annunciation is a performance based on the namesake 17th century painting by Nicolas Poussin. In the moment depicted the Blessed Virgin Mary is visited by Archangel Gabriel. A white dove soars above her, a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
In this performance a drone continuously hovers over my head creating tension between organic and mechanical forms, the body and the machine. The stillness of the pose highlights the resistance of an individual in the age of mass surveillance, tracking, and data harvesting.
Annunciaiton was performed at Humboldt University Greenhouses in Berlin, Germany on July 13th, 2019 for the duration of 22 minutes.
On February 14th, 2019, I pressed my head against the entrance gate of my former high school in Brooklyn for six minutes. This marked a one-year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida where a gunman killed fourteen students and three staff members in 2018. The shooting lasted for six minutes. This performance was a reaction to the ever increasing number of school shootings in the U.S. as well as the complacency of our political system that prioritizes gun rights and lobbying power over student safety and human lives.
Accept Your Penance, 2018
When I entered the first grade in post-Soviet Russia, my teacher instructed my mother to tie my left hand to my body with a leather belt. This way I could do homework only with my right hand. One could not be a lefty in Soviet Union, everyone had to be the same.
My mother could not handle my tears. To this day I remain left-handed. In Accept Your Penance, I recreated this childhood experience while repeatedly writing the words ‘To dust we shall return’ with my right hand.
Accept Your Penance was performed in Weltkunstzimmer, Düsseldorf, Germany on November 9th, 2018 for the duration of 2 hours.