Sunday, August 22, 2021

tell us more

The home page of feminist performance artist Suzy Kellems Dominik has two buttons at the bottom: “Learn more” and “Stay in touch.” Though those are functional, I read them also as autonomous texts, in the spirit of Jenny Holzer: Yes, learning never ends. Yes, stay engaged.

Her site’s “contact” feature includes the request “Tell us more.” I wondered who “us” is. I wrote a dialogue in the message box, also quoting from her short biographical statement (two quotations below within one of my fanciful quote marked responses by me as character with characterization of her):

Yes, a protean sense of self became necessary. Now, I’m the woman he can never know, later the man he can’t become.

“This morning I was re-organizing some old notes, ephemera of days I’d forgotten. The phrase ‘conceptual artist’ from years ago linked to your site.”

Thanks for your interest.

“How can being ‘fearlessly confrontational’ be ‘underscored by a profound empathy for the vulnerability of the human condition’?”

Because I won’t let superficial interest turn my own experience of survival and loss into something no longer mine.

“But, then, you’re displaying how essentially hidden you are. How does anyone find a way to collaborate?”

Be open.

“I am old and glad to be merely a little note for eonic Gaia’s song of being.”

That’s precious.

“If I’d been with you when you did the sepia performance for your site home page, I’d have wanted you to end your act at so precisely where it began that a viewer wouldn’t see where the loop ends
to begin again, because life, you know, goes on as if it has no

—if not being an eternal return of the same.

“Though learning never ends.”

in love and art