Video documentation of the performance

Performance at the Lecture Theater of Chelsea College of Arts

Do you accept me?

Do you accept me? tries to bring the level of acceptance and intimacy in private settings to interactions between strangers. This performance is set in an almost fully dark lecture hall, with dried leaves covering the floor, and four speakers glowing in dim blue light scattered around the room. People are provided with disposable surgical gloves and only one audience is allowed to enter at a time.
When the participant enters the room, they are approached by the artist from the darkness and asked if they trust the artist. If the answer is no, the participant will be sent back to the entrance. If the answer is yes, the artist will hold the participant’s hand and walk them slowly through the hall. Participants can choose to close their eyes during the process. As they walk, there are sounds of heartbeat, some buzzing, later the sounds of breathing and a woman’s humming emerge along the way. All the tracks are recordings of the artist to create an inner unconscious world of her. After arriving at the exit, participants are asked if they would want to take the artist’s role and lead the next person through the hall.

By asking the question of “Do you trust me?”, it is not asking for trust, but acceptance. For trust is a decision based upon certain information disclosed by another, while acceptance can be unconditional. This performance requires the audience to actively participate in the experience, which is almost a test on their openness to the unknown. In the gallery setting, the individual audience is often hidden in the crowd and quite passive. This work singles people out in order for them to craft their own responses without being influenced by others. By encouraging the audience to take the artist’s role, it also examines the willingness of people taking the responsibilities of leading others, and the possibility of this performance to connect every participant together through intimate interactions.