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Chelsea Couch

first performed on April 30, 2018
Willamette University Art Department, Salem, OR
performed once in 2018


Saint Paul, MN



spit & sweat & skin & space


balloons & breaths & blow jobs & beds

Squished in a glass case, I blew up balloons until there was no more space and tried to fall asleep. You can see me and everything my mouth is kissing. We flirt with the line between public and private, which as thin as a piece of glass, as clear as a translucent balloon. The more I exert my breath, the bigger each balloon gets, the less empty space there is. It becomes full, and I’m no longer alone in the empty space!

This performance explores broad, sticky concepts of intimacy and the illusion of balance with stale but flexible materials that require activation. Intimacy takes up space, while demanding giving up space. Intimacy is stretched to many forms: familial, platonic, romantic, casual, passionate, inanimate. There’s something about being socialized as a woman and growing up through Catholic school that has made me obsessed with what can be public and what should be private. There’s something else about growing up and living it up that destroys boundaries and creates complexities. Closeness with others depends on exposing yourself. This exchange is life-giving and love-nurturing, necessary and scary all at once. What you give is what you get but it’s not quite that simple.