Performance art

hurts1 hurts2

The sight of someone locked in a pillory often brings out the worst in human nature, but this is not always so. Professor Sharon Alward-Sakowski used the powerful imagery of the pillory to evoke empathy and compassion in her performance art you see portrayed here. But I should let Sharon explain in her own words:

“After receiving a Manitoba Arts Council Project Grant in 1989 I completed a Performance/Installation at the Winnipeg Art Gallery called "Loves You So Much It Hurts" where I locked myself in a pillory for nine days. The tableau consisted of 3 Plexiglas panels in front of the pillory with text and definitions to the terms CRUCIFIXION, RESURRECTION, ERECTION, PILLORY. Behind the pillory was a blinking neon work called Jesus loves you so much it hurts.

This performance exemplifies for me all of the aspects that are important to my work. There is suffering and redemption as well as a sharing of collective pain. Many people were distressed by the sight of me in the pillory as an object of ridicule or scorn and tried to offer me sips of water. Gifts were laid at my feet throughout the 9 days and people came in and read me poetry, told me stories and talked about intimate spiritual matters. It was a very moving experience for me.”

My thanks to Sharon for allowing me to reproduce her picture and words on this page. You can see more of Sharon’s performance art at her home page.

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Click on the pictures to make them larger

These pictures above are from a series of tableaux from an eastern European performance theatre group, on the theme of medieval punishment. If anyone has any information about this performance, please get in touch with me.

The pictures below depict Guatemalan perfomance artist Regina Jose Galindo sitting in the stocks in Rome in 2007. This performance is simply called "Cepo", which is Spanish for stocks.

cepo1.jpg. cepo2.jpg.

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