Ghost Podium
Under The Influence: Love Addiction

During our brief and highly dysfunctional relationship, I kept a journal of our conversations.  I had been verbally, emotionally and physically mistreated, but was too addicted to him to recognize it clearly and extricate myself.  The writing helped me clarify.  When it inevitably ended, I invited two individuals from opposite ends of my social spectrum to bear witness to my break: a close friend, and a Beautiful Stranger.

The close friend filmed me while I transcribed our conversations from the journal to large pieces of paper.  I drank from wine bottles labeled "Love Addict" and "Love Avoidant".  

After I was sufficiently affected by the content of the conversations and the wine, I invited a stranger that I had met in passing to read the conversations.  I offered him wine, hospitality, my intimate information, and finally, when he was done, he could kiss me.

Ghost Podium
Ghost Podium

I initiate the performance with a recitation from behind a podium that I place on a city street after midnight.  The recitation is a letter, written by me, and addressed to myself as if in the posthumous voice of my deceased father.  I read the letter in Yiddish, his first language. When I finish reading, I free the podium for passersby who might want to share something. I do not record or interrupt them (unless they seek interaction), but rather, I simply provide an audience and a sympathetic ear.

This photo was taken during the first, improvised installment of the performance on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn in 2013.  Passerby participants from behind the podium included a server returning home from a job from which she had just been fired, and a young man disappointed with his failed pursuit of his lady friend's company.

Community members support each other, and then disperse into the cover of night.