Only & Only If You Stare at my hands

Live Performance
Filming by Jakub Bobrowski, Laura Leif
Presented in Third Space Gallery, Helsinki, 2017, and Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, 2018
Thing (-ing) series*


“Only & Only If You Stare at My Hands” explores the performative aspects of a specially designed object, considering both functionality and aesthetics. Additionally, it serves as a practice of care and hospitality. The object used in this performance is crafted from alder wood, bronze, and felt. During the performance, I sit on the floor among the audience, holding the object in front of me. Next to me, there is a paper bag filled with various vegetables. Taking a leek as an example, I use the object to cut it into smaller pieces and pass them to the people seated nearby. I encourage them to assist each other in passing the food until everyone in the room has been served. The sound of cutting the vegetables on the bronze surface gets amplified by a microphone throughout the space. Throughout the performance, I engage with the audience by asking about their vegetable preferences. Once I ensure that everyone in the room has been catered to and satisfied, the performance concludes.

*Thing(-ing) refers to a state of interaction with objects, where the interpretive mind takes a backseat, and the focus lies solely on the objects’ inherent nature, materiality, and functional potentials. The primary goal of thing(-ing) is not necessarily to achieve a predetermined outcome but rather to engage in a genuine and conscious experience of the interplay between the mind/body and the object/matter. This process involves a phenomenological and creative encounter that allows me to be fully present in the moment through physical engagement with the objects.