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Robbie Sweeny

first performed on April 6, 2012
Meridian Gallery, San Francisco, CA
performed twice in 2012


Brooklyn, NY / San Francisco, CA


“Yours and Mine” consisted of five performance installations occurring simultaneously over the three floors of the Victorian mansion that houses San Francisco’s Meridian Gallery. The piece was created in response to the work of Irish artist Patrick Graham, whose paintings of skewed and fragmented bodies were on exhibit in the gallery. Traversing states of agony and elation, Graham’s works compelled me to make a piece that would bolster the affective volatility of bodies in states of encounter. Each installation was a particular composition of kinetic, affective bodies sharing a specific space. The performers were continually negotiating a set of parameters, testing the limits and potentialities of their sites and performance scores. Lasting an hour, the performance invited audiences to move freely through the space.

One hour is not a long time, considering how so much durational performance has taken place over the span of several hours, days, years, lifetimes. “Yours and Mine” was intended as a durational piece that was not meant to merely facilitate procedural change in performing bodies. It deployed a range of formal inquiries into how bodies might impact, guide or extend into each other as they jointly hold finite space as a frame to their prolonged encounter.

The experience of creating this work has helped me to make the following treatises on durational performance:

Durational performance is concerned with composing sustained practice in space.

Durational performance frames processes of somatic transformation that are inherent to bodies. As such, it is a particularly fitting approach to any critique of the processes of social, cultural and political transformation that bodies are made to undergo.

Durational performance resists the totalizing thrust of teleology, of consummation. It allows for an ever-expansive process of engagement that may disallow the tyranny of computational logic and its processes of meaning-making.