Extreme existence

Tania Bruguera

From: “Project Description,” Extreme Existence, Edited by Klaus Ottoman, Ex. cat., Ed. Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, United States, 2002, pp. 12 – 13.

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Project Description for Extreme Existence

by Tania Bruguera

“46 days, 46 performances,” based on theories of rumor, consists of the transformation of a performance into a sound piece. The transformation occurs daily. 

One way in which performance naturally survives and is archived is by way of rumor. “46 days, 46 performances” proposes to enact this process throughout the duration of the exhibition. 

During the opening reception of the exhibition, a performance by the artist takes place. Immediately afterwards, audience members have the opportunity to go into a booth and record their descriptions, interpretations, experiences, and commentaries about the performance they just witnessed. The next day, the performance consists of the sound of that recording being played in the space with the physical remnants of the original performance. Again, the current day’s audience is asked to record their reactions. The following day, the performance will be the recording from the previous day, now 48 hours removed from the actual performance, and the remnants of the original performance. 

This pattern will repeat for the remainder of the exhibition. The distortion of the different levels of transformation of the information would be the trace of the piece. In a way, the piece will continue to be a live event and at the same time, always a document by way of the audience’s response. on the last day of the exhibition, all audio crea-ted throughout the exhibition will be played one after the other.