RedLine Resident Esther Hernandez is an innovative performance-based artist whose work exists in that very compelling space between the real and the surreal. Her main focus is to “arrange groups of people to create parameters of engagement that explore love, connection, social norms, ritual, play and everything close to and in between. I want people to encounter themselves and others in a fresh way, whether it be through interactive performance art, an installation or both. I facilitate an experience in hopes that confrontation, self examination and/or intimacy can be reached.”
Here, Esther invites readers of Along the Line to participate in an ongoing series known as “Performance Art for Couples.”
Anybody is welcome to try this at home and send in pictures, photographs, videos, or share their experience in writing.
Here are the instructions...
- Tie yourself to your partner and make a meal together.
- Eat out of one dish.
- Both torsos should be connected at the side including your two middle arms which cannot be used.
- Your two inside legs should make a third leg.
- Act as one person.
Esther tried this out herself, and here’s what happened:
We made a carrot, cabbage and garbanzo bean soup with a tomato based broth. In order to even walk a few steps we first had to communicate about how we wanted to move. That did not come naturally. The most challenging part was using our hands together like they were the hands of one person. Luckily, he is left handed and I am right handed and I think it made things a little easier but not much. When cutting the vegetables, I held the vegetable still and he chopped with the knife, I had to trust he wasn't going to cut me.
Since he is a chef and I am not, we both had to compromise on how to do things. Once we relaxed into it, got used to the constant communication, and established trust with each other, it became easier. After discussing our experience, we decided this was a great exercise in trust, communication, and compromise, which are the essentials for having a good relationship with anybody.
We will continue to document the evolution of this project. To reach Esther about “Performance Art for Couples” or any of her other projects, you can reach her via email estherhz<at>gmail<dot> com