In the theater, there is a special niche carved out and delved into by endurance performers—think Marina Abramović's multiday sessions sitting in a chair across from strangers at the MOMA, or even illusionist David Blaine's made-for-television runs of freezing himself into a block of ice in Las Vegas. These are performance artists who use time—and their own bodies—as their means of expression.
Starting this Friday at Counterpulse, Raegan Truax will stage her original work, Citation. She estimates that it will run for a full 37 hours (one hour for each year of her life), ending late the next evening. What exactly will she be doing on stage during that time? Not sleeping, for starters. And pulling from memory selections from over 100 works by feminist and queer artists who have come before her—the noted citations in the title.
"I use my body and time as an archive of all those who came before me," she says. "Women, people of color, queer artists, those on the fringe who were performing their art, their work sometimes without notice by established artists. I want to bring forth a history that needs to be witnessed."
And a history that she's writing, literally. Truax is currently heading towards the end of her PhD at Stanford, with her thesis covering the work of artists starting in 1918, the year the world adopted a uniform measurement of standard time.
"I want to take back time for my body, for your body," she explains. "I want to be intentionally slow on stage. You might think of it as a counter to the technologically driven part of the world we live in."
Audience members can come and go as they please, viewing segments, moving around the theater space in the Tenderloin, to take in this unusual and daunting "live act of remembrance."
// Citation, September 22, 2017. Performance begins at 9am and runs through September 23, 2017 at 10pm; tickets $15-$35. CounterPulse, 80 Turk St. (Tenderloin); counterpulse.org