DIAGNOSTIC SESSION II
As an artist who uses performance as a means of expression, I am compelled to ask myself, “Why do I perform?” and, when it comes to executing specific pieces of work, “Why should this be a performance and not a piece of music or a photograph?” The answers inevitably vary. “Diagnostic Session” is a series of live investigations exploring these questions, each time in a new environment with a new analyst and a new audience. The point is to uncover, through psychoanalytic methods, why I perform. On a deeper level of the subconscious, I investigate why I am drawn to making work that is emotionally charged and autobiographical. The first “Diagnostic Session” took place in 2011 at Concord in Los Angeles, CA with a Freudian Analyst. In “Diagnostic Session II, 2013,” I hired a classically trained Jungian Analyst who used traditional and nontraditional methods in our session. We worked on connecting me to my body and emotions during different aspects of “performing,” e.g. being watched, being heard, being embarrassed, etc. The analyst was also very focused on creating fluidity between emotions, helping me and the audience move between heavy conversations about my childhood and then being able to experience collective comic relief. While these are in fact true (or as true as they can be) sessions of psychoanalysis, there is a greater critique at play regarding a performer’s role, an audience’s role and the expectations and engagement that they share.