For You I Feel Lucky

Boston painter and performance artist Jessica Gath, known to many of us as The World Famous Secretary, has been exploring performance as a means of making people feel loved. “For You I Feel Lucky,” her latest work in the series entitled “For You,” was performed on Tuesday November 8th at The Hallway Gallery in Jamaica Plain. The goal of this performance was to “create in a room of strangers, a potential for an increased affinity in a short amount of time,” says Ms. Gath.

Strangers formed the core of this work. To participate, personal references were required by the artist who then contacted these via telephone or email. Three fill in the blank questions were asked and at least any one of the three was required from the reference. The answers provided the framework for the performance.

Three rules were also set in place. One, participants were asked to take the time to experience the beauty of what was about to unfold in the gallery. Two, the performance was not to last more than thirty minutes. And three, participants and performers needed to feel comfortable in their own skin. And so it began.

Any anecdotes or insights provided by the references were shared anonymously with the participants. Ms. Gath read these line by line, at times injecting her own remarks to compensate for those people who said similar things about the participants. In the end, For You I Feel Lucky was about celebrating the participants rather than the artist. It was a reflection of the participants and of those that loved them. This performance was also a reminder that each one of us has a very important role to play in fostering a strong sense of community.

For You I Feel Lucky lingered on hours after it had concluded. I felt lucky to have shared this wonderful experience with a friend and with total strangers, because their presence and being makes this world a much better place. Jessica Gath has gained a new fan, and I’m beyond excited to see what else is in the works!

Images of “For You I Feel Lucky” by Mark Sarver, Courtesy of Jessica Gath.

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5 Comments

  1. Other people’s creativity never ceases to amaze me! What a beautiful idea for a performance — and a truly original experience for those of you who were able to participate. For you, I feel lucky!

    Reply
    • It was a fantastic performance and yes, some people’s creativity never ceases to amaze me. Jessica is planning on performing this again at the DeCordova Biennial, I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply
  2. Gail Flackett

     /  November 13, 2011

    How wonderful, and thoughtful. To use art to care for others is truly beautiful. Gail Flackett

    Reply
  3. annie silverman

     /  November 17, 2011

    What a lovely idea. Jessica is inspiring, as a person and artist. The desire to both create community and have this be what art is about is truly a courageous and much needed in the fragments we inhabit.

    looking forward to knowing more.

    Reply
  1. My “Best Art(s) of 2011″ List « The Evolving Critic

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