Festivals: M:ST 6.
Witness is a performance by interdisciplinary performance artist Allison Wyper for one audience member at a time. In Witness the viewer is configured as an accomplice to the performance event, a ritual in which the tenuous mantle (or blindfold) of power is borrowed, trafficked, and stolen. Within intimate encounters we are challenged to acknowledge our participation in acts of torture, violence and exploitation, and to confront our responsibility for the other. Then, we are charged to act.
The single audience member enters a room equipped with a video camera that projects their image on a TV monitor outside, for others to see. Inside this private space the Witness participates in an interactive performance tailored specifically to them. Throughout this performance the Witness is asked to take action, to sign their name, to record their voice on tape, testifying that they have taken part. They are asked to make a contribution to the score. Upon exiting, they are asked to evaluate their own participation.
Witness has been performed at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); University of California, Los Angeles; California State University, Long Beach; and Viracocha, San Francisco.