Scott MacLeod
    Theater & Performance Texts

      Back to: Serious Projects

     Tuesday, April 04, 2006


This is a retrospective script/report for a 15-hour performance I did at the San Francisco Art Institute on February 26, 1998. I'm told that a couple art students took photos of me that day, but no one's ever offered me any, so the photo I'm using above is of my "Gypsy Trial" performance at the Perfomedia Festival in Ponte Nossa, Italy on August 29th, 1990. In the lower right-hand corner you can see Gianni Bedolo & Giorgio Bulzi, who are "helping" me.


7-8 am: A figure lies on a well-worn steamer trunk just inside the main entrance of the San Francisco Art Institute. He is wearing a white shirt, black suit, black tie, black shoes and a featureless black spandex hood. He lies without moving.

8-9 am: He arises and begins walking slowly (as he is blinded by the hood) through the hallways and stairways of the Art Institute buildings. He drags the steamer trunk by a heavy rope which is attached to its leather handle. As he circulates, he deposits small tent-like cards which advertise his action as performance.

9-10 am: He stands stiffly at a highly-trafficked corner, just outside the main administration offices, holding out his right hand. Some people shake the hand, say good morning, some do not.

10-11 am: He travels slowly to the wood-working area, where he sits in Pamela Blottner’s class and builds a wooden construction.

11-12 am: He purchases breakfast in the Cafe and attempts to drink coffee through his hood.

12-1 pm: He tap-dances on top of the steamer trunk at the top of a stairway inside the Diego Rivera gallery.

1-3 pm: He purchases tempera, ink and canvas from the supply store, collects newspapers from the racks in the cafe, and sits outside plaza making collage paintings.

3-4 pm: Purchases his lunch at the cafe. Unable to ingest the sandwich through the spandex hood, he sits at a table and stares at the sandwich.

4-5 pm: Makes charcoal sketches on paper at a desk in a quiet basement hallway.

5-6 pm: Makes another tour of the entire building complex, dragging his trunk.

6-7 pm: Pretends to read a book, in German, on a chair near the entrance to the library.

7-9 pm: Enters Anne Chamberlain’s installation class, participates as much as possible in students’ site-exploration exercises. During a subsequent class discussion it is revealed that some students have been very frightened by his appearance. He unmasks himself in order to enter into discussion concerning relevant issues.

9-10 pm: Remasks himself, goes to fountain in the central courtyard. Plays the violin while thinking of his dying grandmother. Ends performance at 10 pm and leaves the Art Institute grounds.

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