performance art

Cosmetic Confessional @ Bunker Projects’ PAF16

CC Boy Lips for PAF16I haven’t shown work in Pittsburgh since June or July of 2007, when a one-act play version of Beyond Dirt Knees was produced by Pittsburgh Pride Theater Festival. I was only an audience member, just the writer.

A lot has changed since that summer: matured into my thirties while living in Seoul; fell in love, twice; found life beyond myself (Home Soil); tasted of bodies and bodies of taste have expanded; learned quite a bit; forgot most wild nights; always remembered who to trust; waited patiently, and then bounced to the not-so-sleepy seaside of Brighton and into the awkward comforts of academia; nurtured my practice; read and reread; wrote; got dirty. And now, I find myself proximate to a strange familiarity. It’s complicated and, at times, thrilling—always close.

On Saturday, June 11 I will share work at Bunker ProjectsPerformance Art Festival 2016. In the area behind a curved window at SPACE in downtown Pittsburgh, I will sit for Cosmetic Confessional. One by one, participants are invited to whisper an insecurity or trouble into my ear. First, they must select a brush & a powder, or a tube of lipstick, perhaps a bottle of polish. They should then enter the space and use these implements (however they like) to make me “beautiful”. I’ll be a blank canvas for cosmetics, a repository for secrets—I am your confessor.

This is the first time I’ve revisited this one-to-one performance since my visit to Bath Artists Studios in March 2014. I’ve made some necessary amendments and believe this iteration will be its clearest richest yet.

Do you have anything you’d like to confess?

Cosmetic Confessional
Saturday, June 11 from 4 until 10 PM
812 Liberty Ave,
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Dirt is dirty. Soil is for planting. Compost & Earth…well, that’s the next level!

English is a tricky language. I’ve been living in the UK for nearly a year and I still get confused. I’m not having 70 bags of dirt delivered to the university tomorrow, because that would be very strange AND I’m not a hoarder. I am, however, having nearly 9,000L of compost or soil delivered this afternoon. sneaky…tricky…dirty words.

On another note, there’s this:

MA PVP Degree Show A5 front  MA PVP Degree Show A5 back

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Be well,


Compost + My Body = Comfort


These last couple of months have been quite stressful.  Generally, I try to have a semi-positive outlook on what’s to come.  However, as my final degree performance for the MA is quickly upon me, I find myself worrying about things I cannot control…ever! During this month, my mantra has been: “I have control over my body. I have control over the compost. I don’t have control over anyone or anything else.”—at this time, at least.

Admittedly, I’ve been away from the soil for a while.  Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve left cerebral-mode and decided to (literally) plunge my whole being into the earth in my rehearsal space at Uni.  I have not been my best self; I have not been happy-go-lucky Ryan—perhaps I never was that person. hmmm?  Being back in the compost, though, has alleviated a lot of tension in my heart and mind.  I can’t really explain it any other way, but the soil is intoxicating in the most natural sense of that word.  Touching it. Breathing it in. Lying down in it. I love it!

A couple of days ago, a friend sent me this article from a gardening know-how site: “Antidepressant Microbes in Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy”.  DING DING DING! 

I’m a believer! There’s more to dirt than dirt!

I’m certainly not opposed to Dirty History making Dirty Happiness in September.

Be well,