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The Performance Laboratory

first performed on December 20, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), Detroit, MI
performed once in 2013


Detroit, MI


“Come Sit With Me In Fear” addressed the ten most common phobias in a personalized yet very public way and was performed during the Performance Laboratory’s “FEAR” show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). Technically, I sat on a stage with two chairs and a small table between. A slideshow of the ten most common phobias was projected behind the stage. Each slide included a photo and description of the phobia and was set to be shown for one minute during the performance. Ten random audience members were invited on stage to sit down with me and discuss the phobia and how it did or did not affect them for one minute. We also disclosed to each other what our biggest phobia was and how it affected us as people. This process went on for ten minutes through each phobia until all ten audience members and all ten phobias were discussed on stage in front of an audience of about 70 people. While the audience members could all see the picture and description of the phobia being discussed, they could not hear what we were discussing personally on stage as there were no microphones. This encouraged the audience to basically have the same discussion with the person sitting next to them as we were having on stage.

I wanted to explore the situation where people know what is being talked about but they are intentionally being left out of the conversation and the social response to that when it is being done in front of a large “captured audience.” As we discussed on stage and “in silence to the audience” our particular phobias, the audience grew a little louder each minute with more and more discussions taking place amongst audience members throughout the performance.

The ten phobias in order:

Fear of:

1) Heights

2) Flying

3) Public Speaking

4) The Dark

5) Spiders

6) Snakes

7) Rejection

8) Small Confined Spaces

9) Failure

10) Intimacy