“Gesamtkunstwerk #1” was performed at the end of a two-week long workshop, PAS #24: themomentwhenanappleistooheavyandhastofalldowntotheground. Throughout the workshop, I had been using cleaning materials as objects in my performances. For the second of two final presentations, I decided that I wanted to do a performance in a public bathroom. I was interested in exploring the way that the body interacts with and is shaped by that space, and the hygienic rituals we perform there. The duration of the performance was three hours.
I performed a series of actions in a public men’s bathroom using materials commonly found there: toilets, urinals, sinks, soaps, deodorants, towels and so forth. The actions were repeated on a loop throughout the duration of the performance. I began with one action, then others were added over time to gradually build up the complexity of the series. Throughout the piece, I was singing, however the words were obscured by various things which I had in my mouth: toothbrushes, mints and mouthwash. At the very end, I sang without anything in my mouth, making the lyrics audible for the first time. The song was “This Charming Man” by The Smiths.