Wednesday, January 17, 1990

People seemed to like the work, but I was increasingly dissatisfied for reasons I couldn't quite pin down, so at the beginning of 1989 I decided to seperate the textual and gestural components and to explore each apart from the other, concentrating more on the gestural, which was least familiar to me.

Luckily for me, at this crucial time, 1989, Andre Stitt, Shaun Caton & Tara Babel arrived in SF on their tour of USA. I sat mesmerized during Shaun's 12-hour performance. He stood on a small brick, one of two dozen or so scattered like stepping stones in a pool of moldy water in the basement of Artists Television Access, wearing a hood & medical facemask, white doctor coat, rubber gloves, holding a long pole of some sort like a high-wire artist. I'd stare at him for an hour, blink or turn my head & somehow he'd have moved to another brick. The whole thing was magical & dire & tedious, just like life, as I saw it. Eventually he ended up alternately standing in front of a tempera painting he was continually repainting, and lying in a pool of water, urine & tempera (dripping from the painting), his face half-submerged, blowing nose-bubbles in the nasty mixture. Brilliant. I pretty much watched the entire thing, as I think did Keith Hennessy .

So the invitation to Moscow came at an ideal time and I relished the challenge of creating a wordless performance specifically for eastern European audiences who would by & large not speak English. I began building a vocabulary of gestures & of interactions with simple objects and thinking about how the subtraction of language was going to influence the work.