A Daily Theater

2022/05/14 - 2022/05/15
Site-specific Participatory Performance
At Lafayette Avenue Station, Brooklyn, NY

Special thanks to:
Photographer: Liu Hsiao Chien
Participants: Sam Heckle, Victoria Baik, Ziwei Ji, Ami Mehta, Pauline Ceraulo, Mingna Li, Yu-Ching Wang, Josephine Wang, Vesper Guo, Duncan Figurski, Matthew Li, Helen Tang, Fang Yu Liu, Tianyi Shi, Stacy Yuan, Jenny Wang, Wenjing Liu, Shuju Lin, Elijah Alvarez

Find out more info here.

Daily life is a theater, and everything can be performative. According to the idea, <A Daily Theater> aims to blur the boundary between reality and performance. In <A Daily Theater>, the artist replaces performers, lines, and settings with participants, instructions, and a subway station in real life. The performance invites participants to explore Lafayette Avenue Station in Brooklyn, and they receive instructions via mobile phones during the process. There are three acts/stages in the performance, and its duration is around 60 minutes.

Stage 1 - Strangers: Participants arrive at the station and start to explore the space. They are strangers to commuters, other participants, and the site.
Stage 2 - Janitors: Participants receive instructions that lead them to leave the platform with mops, and they follow the instructions to clean the floor like a group of janitors. At the end of Stage 2, participants will have a partner from the opposite platform.
Stage 3 - Imitators: Participants turn back to the platform while imitating their partners' movements until they leave the station.

The architecture of Lafayette Avenue Station is symmetric, and there is a long hallway between Manhattan-bound and Brooklyn-bound platforms. The structure is like a mirror, and travelers who come from different directions are one another's reflections. Also, how people perceive the world is highly related to specific angles they are at, so the artist hopes to make participants aware of the angle shifting physically by adding some movements, which include laying down, facing walls, and imitating partners, into the instructions. As a hustle and bustle city, New York subway stations are usually transitions rather than destinations. However, <A Daily Theater> aims to be a pause note in daily life, and participants will be more sensitive to the static society and come up with new imaginations of the world after this brief stay.