Performance Art comes to the Kitao

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

This weekend, Swarthmore’s student art space will be hosting a totally unique work by sophomore Kim Comer. “We All Must Wake” is a performance art piece that will be opening this weekend in the Kitao Gallery.

Comer describes her piece as combining the elements of an art gallery tour and a staged performance, without a plot or linear narrative but with both interactive and more spectator-focused elements. The piece will be built around three primary spaces: two-dimensional art, performance, and a conclusion space. “The audience should treat it like a gallery exhibit,” Comer explains. “Like a hands on tour of a gallery.” One in which, as Comer put it, “the art performs.”

Comer, a design major, became interested in the possibilities of performance art last semester when taking a theater course with Professor Erin Mee. Mee encouraged Comer to look into the design possibilities of this form of performance, which arose in the 1960’s and is tied to the Dada movement.

Since then, Comer has been developing this piece. She is hoping to use to try some of her ideas in preparation for possibly doing a performance art honors thesis. “I’ve been working on this for a very long time… over six months,” states Comer. “Hopefully all of the elements that I brainstormed for it will come together.”

Rather than open hours, the piece will be viewable to about 30 people at a time for short, scheduled show times: Saturday at 4:15, 5:00, 5:45, 10:00, 10:45, and 11:30, and Sunday at 1:30, 2:15, 3:00, 3:45, and 4:30. There is the possibility of additional showings on Monday morning.

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