project image
Raegan Truax

first performed on March 31, 2020
the artist's living room
performed 76 times in 2020





A wall is not a body. There are no fleshy folds to collapse into. No warm curves to cradle. No eyes offering solace. Rigid. Cold. Unrelenting. Sturdy, also. Still.

Durational Performance, “Stay in Place (S.I.P),” began as counties across the US issued shelter-in-place (S.I.P.) orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19. During a mandated fourteen-day quarantine, I rearranged everything in my 484-square-foot home, taking all of the furniture out of the main room to begin, on day fifteen, what became the 76-day performance.

Each day I painted one or two parts of my body with grey house-paint. I performed by keeping contact between painted body parts and the wall, moving but also staying in place for increasing durations.

On day fifteen, I painted my left cheek and finger of Saturn, and the performance lasted fifteen minutes. On day sixteen, I painted my chin and left wrist, and the performance lasted sixteen minutes. On day seventeen, I painted my left temple and left thumb, and the performance lasted seventeen minutes. I continued in this way for 76 days, ending with a 76-minute performance on May 31.

I used information on the Santa Clara County public health order as an overarching score. When the first order was continued, I painted my wingspan with yellow paint and held the wall, arms stretched wide for 22 minutes (day 22).

On day 23, I repeated the initial score, using purple paint to cover my left cheek and finger of Saturn and performing for 23 minutes. Changing the color of paint indicated continuation, repetition, and variation as aspects of S.I.P.

Each new day initiated an extended duration.

When all the original scores were repeated I added new body parts to the composition. Day 33, “reverse side of the left knee” performed for 33 minutes. On day 34, the tip of one elbow performed for 34 minutes. The second order was continued on Day 48 and I painted my wingspan yellow, holding and hugging the wall for 48 minutes.

On Day 49, I began again. Left cheek, finger of Saturn, 49 minutes.

On Day 76, the county changed the shelter-in-place order and lifted multiple restrictions. I performed wingspan for 76-minutes and ended the performance.

I could not afford stay in California once I was able to move. I signed the wall using a permanent marker and painted over the marks: 2,821 accumulated performance minutes covered with grey house paint. Rigid. Cold. Unrelenting. Sturdy, also. Still.