Video and Performance
Scroll all the way through performance and video since 2002
'Aug dul sios an staighre'
("She's going down stairs" in Gaelic)
First part of this video was shot in 2008 while living in Providence. In 2014, I decided to continue the piece, making it an ongoing life-long video with a new staircase added every 6 months.
Dressed in 1940s traveling attire, I wait for the train.
Going the opposite direction on a merry-go-round, I run against the stream of carosel horses
(above three videos originally shown playing simultaneously in installation: 'The Living Room')
I stand by the fireplace waiting for someone to enter the room.
New York City
I am a living paper doll. I have a wardrobe of paper doll clothes, all screen printed and my size.
Doilying (v): To attach a doily to something so that it may increase in level of fanciness.
The shape of the Virgin Mary shows up in stains on windows and inside the knot holes of door panels. When she appears hundreds flock to these 'sightings' of the Virgin. But what would happen if she shows up on the streets in real life?
'Femambiance'- an ongoing performance, began in 2004 when I dressed up as the Virgin Mary and walked around the Museum of Fine Arts carrying a plastic baby Jesus in my arms. I wanted to stop in front of Madonna and child paintings and critique them, standing next to a museum visitor looking on. I also froze in place from time to time. Some people thought I was a sculpture. Ultimately I was kicked out in the Contemporary Art wing, next to a giant cheese grater sculpture and a painting of Walt Disney for "distracting from the artists who were actually invited to the exhibit".
'Mary in Boston: Good Friday'
I walked around Boston with a plastic baby Jesus in a stroller.
Every so often I would take Jesus out to feed and burp him. Sometimes I would sit and blow bubbles.
Around the Christian Science Center, I was followed by security outside until I walked farther away from the area.
'Mary Clean Up'
Nebraska City, Nebraska
Mary finds a shrine to herself next to a local Catholic High School. It has been forgotten and it is overgrown with weeds and covered in leaf debris. She descides to spruce it up a bit and make it look nice again.
'Mary in Clearwater'
I pay a visit to a famous Virgin Mary sighting spot in Florida. I had visited it years ago as a child.
The story of the location:
Just before Christmas on December 17, 1996, a stain was discovered on the glass windows of the Seminole Finance Company. The stain, which was 60 feet tall and 20 feet wide, evoked the traditional shape of the Virgin Mary. In the first few weeks after the image appeared, nearly 500,000 visitors flocked to the site. The building is now owned by the Catholic ministry organization Shepherds of Christ, who renamed it Our Lady of Clearwater.
'Mary's Mighty Maids'
cleaning in Jackson, MS
MMM is an ongoing sin cleansing service. Customers wishing to get rid of their sins can call me and I will show up with my vacuum as one of Mary's Mighty Maids. Using the 'holy receptacle of sin' (vacuum bag, shown below) I collect the sins in the room. After cleansing is complete I go over the contents of the receptacle of sin with my client, explaining the possible reasons for finding the types of sin collected (without judgement), and complete the inventory checklist on the back. After which The Holy Receptacle is properly disposed of.
Holy Receptacle of Sin
This is the vacuum bag used for the MMM business. Each bag has the image of the Virgin screen printed printed on the outside. On the back of the bag is an inventory list of the bag's possible post- cleansing contents.
'Mary at the Women's March'
Mary walks in Providence during
the Women's March to the State House
Bathroom Vignettes: scenes in a bathroom
The bathroom is the most private yet pubic space in our society.
It is a perfect performance venue.
Scene One: Bathroom Racquetball
First performed in 2005 inside the women's restroom in Harder Hall at Alfred University. I play racquetball off the far wall of the bathroom.
Art in Odd Places Festival NYC
Played racquetball inside the bathroom
at the Tompkins Square Park Library.
Scene Two: The Freshness Patrol
On roller skates I travel around the building spraying things I deem "smelly" with a can of air freshner as part of
the Freshness Patrol.
Scene Three: The Bathroom Awards
I stood outside the men's and women's bathroom ready to hand out special awards for bathroom users upon their exit of the facilities.
Bathroom Excellence Award: Awarded to an individual who demonstrated superior ability in using the toilet, the sink or the paper towell dispenser.
MVP Award: Most Valuable Pooper.
Way to Wipe! Award: Goes to the bathroom user with the best hygiene.
Scene Four: The Great American Bathroom Novelist
Art in Odd Places festival NYC
Tompkins Square Park Public Library
The average time a person spends reading in the bathroom is 45 seconds. (Statistic before cell phones). In this scene, I am a bathroom novelist, set up outside the bathroom. I type pages to my bathroom novels and when finished with a new page, I add it into the appropriate novel. The bathroom novels are available for reading inside the bathroom. Each story line changes every 45 seconds so that when you pick up a book and turn to any page, you can follow along easily.
Novel Titles: Dolphins Where You Least Expect Them
The Mysterious Left Handed Man
The Harlequin and the Hare
Scene Five: The Bathroom Train
I set up an electric train in the bathroom, blocking off one stall so that the bathroom goer, if they had to go, have to cross over the train tracks.
A fire hydrant is fed up with bad treatment in the capitol. It leads a protest around the capitol building and downtown, holding a sign that says "Hydrants for Safe Hosing" and chanting, "We're tired of getting hosed!" and "Stop peeing on us!" also "Curb your dogs or we'll curb you!"
Hydrant Moves to Town
A fire hydrant is new in town and gets assigned a place to set up.
This series of hydrant performances were inspired by the fact that hydrants are set up along side walks looking like they are ready to cross the street. Ducks have special crossing signs, so why not fire hydrants- in the original performance piece (not documented), I dressed as a fire hydrant, placed a fire hydrant sign on my side of the street, and carefully crossed my baby hydrants (made of glass) to the other side of the street.
'The Balogna Portraits'
I set myself up as a portrait artist. Audience members can enter the room one or two at a time. I set them up in place for their portrait and tell them to 'freeze'. I then take out a slice of balogna and make their portrait in deli meat.
BIG BOSTON LEMONADE STAND
The Lemonade Stand
Liz Clark and Kara Dunne
My first performance ever. Liz Clark and I dressed as old ladies and set up a lemonade stand directly across the street from an outdoor Starbucks cart at Alfred University. We would heckle Starbucks customers and try to convince them to buy our lemonade instead of coffee.
This performance was repeated two other times in Boston in 2006.
Our big lemonade stand performance. We had five other groups of volunteer pairs of "old ladies" set up lemonade stands outside of Starbucks locations around Newbury St. and Boylston. With six tables set up around this area it would be odd for the average person to come across more than one old lady lemonade stand during their commute. This of course, was the point.
To promote the lemonade stand during the performance, we hired an aerial banner to fly across the sky for a half hour. The banner read:
"When life gives you S%$@bucks, Drink Lemonade!"
A week before the event we placed lemons on sidewalks all around the city. Each lemon had our logo on it, saying "coming soon!"
'55 Frock Walk'
Using the extensive vintage garment collection at Elsewhere, I walked all day long around a city block in the historic antiques district, crossing the railroad tracks each time. Every time I would make a lap, I would change dresses from the collection. I wore 55 dresses in total and walked 21 miles from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Greensboro, NC 2009
A place of many antique shops. And sometimes night clubs are right across the street. Fascinated by dance cards and the way they used to organize your dance partners, I decided to make dance cards for our group to go clubbing with. Instead of having a random guy creep up from behind and dance on you without asking it'd be nice for them to ask first, and sign up on your card...like back in the olden days.
Nebraska City, NE
All around Nebraska City I found these little old timey pointing hands leading people in directions. I wanted to lead people as well using this symbol. I printed 300 friendly pointing hands and attached them to buildings kind of like a dotted line. They would lead you around the blocks downtown and into a side street, around a corner, where you would find a giant thumbs up and a pile of thumbs ups. A sign saying "good job, please take a thumbs up." was at the final site.
'Get to the Point'
Before the auction begins,
I vacuum seal the prints of various antique objects on the wall with tubes attached from the back of my dress and a household vacuum cleaner. Various objects on the table are wrapped in plastic wrap. These are the auction items. Before the bidding begins, I wrap audience members in plastic wrap in various ways to limit their mobility during the performance. There are peanuts on the floor. As the auctioneer, I announce the object and describe it's worth, giving it a value in peanuts. Audience members may collect peanuts if they wish to bid on an item.