durational performance: 4 hours
Rethinking Pink; Diego Rivera Gallery; San Francisco CA, USA. 2002
I had been living in San Francisco for a couple years when I performed this durational piece. I felt exoticised to a slight - but not uncomfortable - degree, and I felt more liked there than I ever did in my life.
Thinking about the American expression ’I’d drink your bathwater’ (meaning you really like someone and would do anything for them), I thought I would see if these friendly Californians liked me enough to actually drink my bathwater.
Naturally, I was conscious of how I appeared to my audience: a young Asian female, ’innocent’/non-threatening, mildly sexy, and relatively germ-free. The milk I was bathing in looked drinkable, and drink they did. Some people even abandoned their straws in favour of their wine glasses with which they scooped up the milk.
Further, I took into consideration the fact that Californians are famously easygoing about many things, not least what they put in their mouths: a couple of small children permanently installed themselves by the tub and steadily guzzled down the strawberry Quik. So single-minded were they that they did not seem to find it out of the ordinary that there was a girl in their beverage. A visitor arrived with her Golden Retriever, who bee-lined for the tub and started lapping out of it. Visitors weren’t fazed in the least, and carried on nonchalantly sipping out of the tub after the dog had been put on a leash and led away.
photos by: Rob Schroeder