From across the busy courtyard, you hear an excited shout –not your name, but it still seems directed just to you. You turn to see, yards away, the animated figure of a woman clad all in bright yellow, with bright yellow makeup over much of her face, standing in the center of what appears to be a 10-foot-wide painted yellow dot. She is so wriggling with joy and anticipation as she sees you that she is fairly dancing; your reaction at this point is dependent on your family history, your ethnicity, your personality type, your experiences with others, both positive and negative.
Will you run to her and embrace her, as she seems to invite? Even leap into her arms? The kind of greeting she’s giving you is as huge as if you were a long-lost lover, or a favorite son just back from war, or perhaps even a friend perhaps thought dead. Will that seduce you to join her in her bright yellow zone? Or will you be repulsed, sure you can’t get something for nothing? Knowing if you go in there has to be some consequence, some snake that will jump out? Will you slink to the farthest point away and skirt the area, pretending not to notice her happy haranguing? Will you glare back, furious at this intrusion on your energy and eyeballs? Perhaps even curse her out for being an impediment in your route and an unwelcome waste of time? The color, though exuberant, is a LOT, as are she and her actions.
(This piece grew out of a continuing (and semi-fruitless) search in my work to create a piece that came as close as possible to a single gesture, to reduce my work into something extravagant in impact and perceived scale while being as minimalist as possible toward extraneous detail beyond the essentialized action.)
This piece is available to be performed in museums, galleries, fairs, and public settings.
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The artist thanks the following for their help with this project:
This piece was created in part with a grant from the Economic Development Department Cultural Arts Division, City of Austin.
Women & Their Work provided umbrella support for this grant.
Presentation Partners: Los Outsiders; Mexican-American Cultural Center, Austin, Texas.