“BS (BitterSweet)” is a Valentine’s Day-specific performance that considers the practice of self-love and expectations of partnership. The holiday of love’s commercialization continues to accelerate and push ideas about the absolute necessity of having a partner and displaying one’s love to them through luxurious gifts and more. Where is the space to love yourself? With this performance, I took the tools—chocolate, dress-clothes, and embrace—of this version of the holiday and committed myself to a durational act of self-love in order to have my own moment.
The performance consisted of hugging and caressing myself for 30 minutes on February 14 after coating my hands in chocolate. Using the delicious material gifted to people on this day, I stained my white collared shirt and dress pants with my own embrace, letting the chocolate build up on my clothes and skin over the course of the half hour. As the performance went on and the chocolate warmed from refrigerated to skin temperature, the smell and feel of the chocolate became more and more intense until it was nauseating. With nostrils imprinted with the scent and my skin squirming under the drying stickiness, I ended the performance by removing the clothes and leaving them behind.