My Calling (Card) #1 Meta-Performance (1987-88; 00:58:00)
Documentary footage edited together from two audience-participatory meta-performances, the first with an all-white audience, the second with a mixed but predominantly black audience. I call them meta-performances because in them I invite a larger audience into self-reflective participatory critique of a one-on-one interpersonal performance for which I present documentation. In this case, the one-on-one performance was of My Calling (Card) #1. The first meta-performance, at the Randolph Street Gallery in Chicago in 1987, took that performance as the object of critique. The second meta-performance, at the Studio Museum in Harlem, took the Randolph Street Gallery meta-performance as the object of critique. In that performance I suggest that whoever watches the tape edited from these two meta-performances will be participating in a third level of self-conscious meta-performance, taking the combined tape itself as the object of critique. The level of audience engagement in both venues was very high and the discussion quite heated. Interesting dynamics developed between black and white participants in the Studio Museum venue.