project image
Deborah Beshaw-Farrell

first performed on October 20, 2019
Art in Odd Places: INVISIBLE 2019, Promenade of Visual Flâneurs/Flâneuse, New York, NY
performed once in 2019


Bonnie Sue Stein, Sherry Erskine, Michelle Beshaw, Roberta Levine, John K Erskine, Vit Horejs

New York, NY / Holland, MI


“Adjust Your Gaze” premiered at the Art in Odd Places annual festival along 14th Street in NYC, in the segment called Promenade of Visual Visual Flâneurs / Flâneuse on October 20, 2019. We journeyed into New York City’s 14th Street commercial and multicultural community. In addition to wandering through the local Target Store, Duane Reade Pharmacy, and up and down the 14th St. subway escalator, IGUANA performed for a robed priest in front of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and joined participants of both a Hong Kong protest and a Sukkot hut in Union Square Park. Though many spectators took photos and watched us go by, no one confronted our group. Perhaps because the streets of NYC are filled with oddities, or the somewhat spiritual aspect of the costume, no one blocked our promenade. IGUANA was visibly invisible—able to wander around through the world in the span of one mile.

The performance investigates issues of visibility, vulnerability, and aging through costume design and choreography. Making a subtle nod to the grim reaper, our long robes are similar to a kimono, yet there is no specific cultural reference. The robes’ floppy oversized hoods cover our faces and the sleeves cover our hands—rendering our bodies, age, and gender invisible from the spectator’s gaze. Feeling vulnerable, we wear highly visible fluorescent yellow costumes to be noticed, yet we find strength in not being judged by others. Our current emotional state is not visible to anyone who looks at us. However, as Flaneurs we are able to observe from under our hoods. Holding each other’s trains as a gesture of care, the “Adjust Your Gaze” IGUANA team represents our collective need for belonging, love, and esteem. Finding strength in numbers, we wander through stages of life with a sense of unity, friendship, and family. As flaneurs, we see you and request that you adjust your gaze to look within.

IGUANA has been a collaborative duo since 1976. Our work explores place and memory in terms of human interaction, time displacement, aspects of sound, and the symbolic function of spaces.