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 that clearly. 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.
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 who had "struck out" with a lady friend that night.
Community members support each other, and then disperse into the cover of night.