Break Silence / End Isolation (2013-14)

Artist’s Statement

Break Silence, End Isolation (2013-14) is a piece of procedural performance art exploring themes of connection and isolation in contemporary subjective experience, contrasting contemporary protest culture with state legal apparatuses.

This project asks how protests and police interactions become the site of meaning-creation, and included an emergent performance methodology, creating a self-reflexive cycle of media-creation tailored to the present social climate.

Additionally, this piece explores the performative experience of commodity creation under capitalism.

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The painting on display at a protest march on June 14th, 2013, in Hayes Valley San Francisco, as part of the execution of Break Silence, End Isolation (2014)

The piece spanned 11 months in its execution, and included the following activities:

  • an hour-long meeting with civil rights attorney Dan Siegel
  • the creation of an acrylic painting bearing the words “Break Silence End Isolation”
  • the public display of the painting as it was carried through the streets of San Francisco during a march held in protest of the transformation of a publicly owned high-yield permaculture farm into the real estate commodity
  • a walkabout street performance as the character “Auntie Capitalist”
  • an auction cycle in which the painting received a 6-digit bid from a situationist art collector, transforming it from a painting into the art commodity
  • a series of phone calls with the San Francisco police department following the theft of the painting by Homeland Security officers
  • a series of meetings with detectives within the San Francisco Office of Citizen’s complains
  • a series of visits to various police storage facilities
  • a hearing at the Superior Court of California through which the art was returned to the artist

Collaborators to this project included situationist Issac Cronin, activist Michael Cliff (aka “Pirate Mike”), and surrealist performance artist Richie Israel.


Media coverage:

Hoodline: “A Play by Play of Last Night’s Protest