TOTENTANZ

PERFORMANCE/INSTALLATION 1990

THE PLUG IN Institute of Contemporary Art

Commission by the Plug In Gallery to do a Performance/ Installation for ART OVER AIDS in November 1990. I poured 5 gallons of blood and semen on the floor of the gallery during a private ritual of mourning and then spent the next several hours cleaning the spilled blood and semen. There was an installation that remained in the gallery between the two performances; a neon and plexiglass work called Expiration/Expiation.

TOTENTANZ evolved from the image of a world scale medieval theatre; a dance of death in its most tragic sense. AIDS has become a symbolic disease that has taken on apocalyptic dimensions. I used blood and semen in a ritual attempt to reconcile my own ambivalent attitude towards AIDS. TOTENTANZ addresses the idea of personal responsibility and my own self conscious attempt as an artist to confront the inadequacy of art in the face of death.

TOTENTANZ PERFORMANCE (QuickTime 425K)

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