I fill the covered market Bezisten in Bitola, Macedonia with cloaked figures from sunrise to sunset. The public is invited to join me in cleaning the feet of the figures.
The following words are translated into Macdeonian and displayed above the performance:
wash the gunmetal wash the stake that ties the hard ground to the kite wash the red sky wash the crater wash the table and its trimmings wash the north facing road wash the runes wash the field and its carvings and wash the great wash the string on the thumb wash the east wash cobblestone cracks and wash the rind on your heel wash what the child saw and wash the passed-down sweater wash the coming wash paper you put it all on wash the off chance wash its fidelity to the drawn map wash the tilted hat wash what's left wash the west wash lice and wash their nits wash the crack wash the loins the book and the dancer wash the wide water wash the map wash the child's foot wash the stain wash the table wash the gold wash the dust and heat wash the pulse the blood the orchard and its keeper wash the canted light and its constellations wash the taut line and step lightly wash the lines wash the webbing wash the lines
We clean fear. We clean the contradictions that define us, and stare across an impossible gulf. We talk with our hands, and the water from our work runs down an ancient drain.
For the first time in a cleaning project, a member of the public, Religious Ikon painter Blagojce Petrovski, asks to clean my feet.
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This work was made in collaboration with Elementi, Die Fabrikanten, and the Exchange Radical Moments Live Art Festival. My deepest thanks to the incredible group of volunteers from the Skopje art academy and Bitola, who bravely stood and were cleaned. My only hope is that they learned a fraction as much from the work as I learned from them.
Special thanks to Biljana Isijanin, Jovce Krsteski, Silvia Keller, and Gerald Harringer for facilitating, championing and supporting this project.
Bezisten Covered Market
November 11, 2011
Duration: 10 Hours
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Photos: Aleksandar Grozdanovski and Jovce Krsteki