project image
Chris Powers

first performed on January 11, 2013
SFSU performance space 112, San Francisco, CA
performed five times in 2013


Amy Kilgard, Ruth Gildea, Gust Yep

Chicago, IL / San Francisco, CA


The project is inspired by the complex symbol of the rabbit and the rabbit’s warren, with its secret hiding places, chutes and tunnels. The performance installation was designed with the premise that these qualities resemble the complexities of Complex PTSD. 


I open the door and the room is claustrophobically sealed. I am disoriented.  An adult theater or a nightclub, or alley? Lights, rhythmic patterns project psychedelic colors onto a red cellophane bodies, hanging precariously. The sounds, machine voices, repetition, singing noise and pulsing harmony of strobe lights. I peek at naked men painted as bunnies, kissing, fucking, smiling and sucking. A large photo of a naked young man painted as a white bunny. His arms flung in surrender to the liberated ecstasy of body and sky. However, a faded, daunting image of an older man lingers behind the clouds. I turn the corner.  A collage of fragmented body parts startles me. Oddly sexy, tortured, layered, unpainted, close-ups, some scars, blocks of skin, some discernible parts, hands, head, genitals.


He wearing a business suit, tie loosened, had just come from work. He attentively reads each element. In each section, he takes his time. He looks like he is thinking. I don’t make eye contact with him as he moves through the installation. He spends quite a bit of time in the text room. I think it could be his favorite. He looks as if he hasn’t been involved with any project quite like this.

“I want to hug you,” he says matter-of-factly.


I smile. “Oh ok.”

“However, I don’t want to get the make-up all over my suit?”


“Oh. Um…Ok.”


“But I really want to hug you.”


He looks down at his clothes and rolls his eyes. His expression shows that he has made a decision. He takes off his shoe, then his sock, then the other shoe and then he removes the other sock. He places each sock inside the corresponding shoe. He removes his belt, unfastens his pants; lets them drop to the floor in a crinkly mound. In his underwear only, he reaches out and embraces my painted body. He holds me.  I lay my head on his shoulder. He begins rocking me. We stand there in front of the other five visitors, in our underwear, rocking and holding each other as if we were part of the same family who had just lost one of their siblings.