Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Julia's Parents Are Out of Town: October 18th 2007

In the fall of 2007 Elia Arce was teaching her second Performance Art Class at the University of Houston. Her students included Houston artists Julia Claire Wallace, Nancy Douthey, Tyson Urich, Brian D. McCord, Keijiro Suzuki, and Sean Carrol. Elia Arce decided that the class should do a night of individual performances. After perusing many different spaces the class decided to do their performance at the home of Julia Claire Wallace. She was currently living alone in her family's house. The house that she grew up in, It was jam packed with the ecclectic remains of twenty three years of Wallace family living. They named the artspace "The Julia". The class had photos taken in the house by local artist, Shane M. Maeberry, and used them to create their flyer.

When guests arrived they were greeted with the smell of Nancy Douthey's baking cookies as well as a cordial Elia Arce dressed as Julia Claire Wallace in a blonde wig, a drawn on piercing, and clothes that she picked from Julia's closet. Programs were available that included a map of the house as well as each of the participating artist's definitions of performance art.

In the kitchen, a soundscape was created by local D.J Justin L. Harmon and video documentation of the semester's projects played throughout the show. There was also an installation in the attic consisting of recorded sound performances from the class.

For two hours Brian D. McCord pedaled a stationary bike on the front porch connected to the porch light. He was wearing a powder blue suit. He placed signs around the area that advertised his business entitled 'On-site Lighting.' The signs informed the visitors of his cell phone number, and they were invited to call him as he pedaled.

Nancy Douthey cleaned the room of Julia Claire Wallace. It was quite "messy" when she entered, and quite neat when she left. The visitors were welcome to converse with Nancy as she cleaned.

Keijiro Suzuki created a small, taped off space in the dining room. He entitled his piece "Reconstruction of Home." In his small space he performed the daily activities of his life in Japan. He watched Japanese television and cooked rice. He also performed religious tasks that included recitation and burning parchment in a small bowl. He acted as if his audience was not there, ignoring them when they spoke to him.

Sean Carrol's piece was entitled '3 games.' He gathered a group in the living room and had them roll dice in competittion with eachother. When narrowed down to three participants, he gave them each a large plastic jar filled with juice and canned pears. He dropped a small safety pin in each jar, and the first two that fished out their safety pins went onto the last round. He asked these two final contestants which one had sex last, and the most recently screwed contestant was the winner. Sean conducted two of these games in the living room during the show. The first winner recieved a bottle of wine and the second winner recieved a coloring book.

Julia Claire Wallace conducted two games of spin the bottle in her parent's bedroom. She took reservations for the game before hand. She only allowed participants in the room (no spectators).

The rules of the game were:
1. a peck on the lips
2. a three second kiss
3. thirty seconds in the closet
4. kiss with toungue
5. shake hands

Tyson Urich was in the backyard. He had a pottery wheel on which he created things out of clay that he destroyed by throwing them against the side of the garage. He also allowed the visitors to create and destroy their own clay creations.

Some Local Artists who participated in/attended the event included: Aisen Chacin, Sebastian Forray, Patrick O'Brien Doyle, Loris Bradley, Shane M. Maberry, Robyn Locklin, Iskra Ivanova, Michael Brimms, Osker Sonnen

Julia Claire Wallace recorded her thoughts on the event in her blog, here.
Robyn Locklin also recorded her thoughts on the event in her blog, here and here.