I wait in a chair. Next to me, a table is covered in tubes of lipstick, pots of paint in every color, charcoal pencils, mineral powders, brushes, blotters, and all of the paraphernalia of beauty. Everything is carefully arranged and ready for the confessants. One by one, they are welcomed into the performance area. They may choose one, and only one, object from the tables and use it (however they like) to make me “beautiful”. After decorating me, they must whisper one insecurity into my ear. It could be they can’t stand to wear a bathing suit, maybe they are ashamed of their lisp, or perhaps they blame themselves for their father’s death—I accept all the troubles of the people who come to confess, and I will never tell. During my installed presence, I am a blank canvas for cosmetics, a repository for secrets—I am their confessor.
Cosmetic Confessional is a one-to-one performance. It was first shared during private views at the University of Brighton throughout the end of 2013. The above photographs are from confessions that took place during Bunker Projects Performance Art Festival 2016 (PAF16) at SPACE gallery in downtown Pittsburgh on 11th June 2016. The photographs below are from confessions that occurred at Bath Artists Studios on 29th March 2014.
For further information about the development of this project, please refer the Process page.
Special thanks to Ryan C. Patterson for the PAF16 photography.