968: ALL THE DAYS HE TOLD ME HE LOVED ME
ANDREW LEO STANSBURY
The carnivalesque, somber performance involved direct audience interaction where anyone could cut and keep one of the 968 ceramic flowers covering my head and body. With help from my assistants, the participants were given pruning shears and protective eyewear. As I walked around blindfolded by the work, the vibrations from the percussive chiming of the earthenware flowers clinking into one another helped guide me through the space.
Each flower represents a day a lover had expressed his love; with each flower removed, the burden of each lie was lifted from my body. After each clipping, the participants were allowed a private moment with me that involved the caressing of hands and arms, creating a new intimate moment with an unknown stranger. Through this action, I nonverbally communicated the loss and relief of their choice and was able to share love unconditionally.
At the end of the performance, the mask and tendrils were removed, scratching my neck and face, and then destroyed.