Chock
Pisa souvenirs, Superman memorabilia, performance
dimensions variable
2013


chock noun \ˈchäk\ : a wedge or block for steadying a body (as a cask) and holding it motionless, for filling in an unwanted space, or for blocking the movement of a wheel (the Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Chock is a site-specific performance displaced from its site. This piece was created for the exhibition, Superstizione, at Stevenson University. During the performance, actors became would-be tourists recreating the classic “holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa” pose. Because the performance took place in Owings Mills (Maryland) and not Pisa, the act lacked the central signifier, the Tower, which gives this futile, yet super-human gesture its meaning. In addition to standard tourist garb including Pisa tee shirts, pins, and scarves, the actors also wore Superman keepsakes as subtle reference to the gesture’s imperialist subtext. After the performance, the Pisa and Superman props were reconfigured as sculpture that remained in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition.

Performance documentation by Allana Clarke