I am Chris Purdie is a performance art piece involving thirty-five performers playing the role of visual artist Chris Purdie. The cast wears the "Chris Purdie uniform" and performs the role as they interact with patrons attending the artist's reception. For the duration of the exhibition, there will be at least one "Chris Purdie" in the gallery during their hours.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Utah Valley University Presentation 2009

I was given the opportunity to be the speaker for Utah Valley University's visiting artist lecture series. For this presentation I had a panel of five "Chris's" speaking as I stood next to them wearing the speaker suit. All of the microphones were wired to the suit so although they were speaking, I was the speaker.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Strength to Say No

Friday the 20th was the reception at the HFAC for the shows of Susan, Kisslan, Wei, and myself. I get rather frustrated with "moochers" at these events, who snack on the way into a theater event rather than seeing the art. The eats are an age-old, ongoing Pavlovian experiment--the Art Department's way of trying to get visitors to associate artsy-fartsy displays with good (or at least interesting) food, and reward attendance with a treat. When most students are doing their final show/reception, all available resources have been tapped, and the offerings to the (hoped-for) legions of attendees represent the final Widow's Mite of the BFA/MFA candidate. It is thoroughly annoying, and not to mention slightly thoughtless, for a theater-going visitor to step around three (that's right, I said THREE) signs inviting, in large and friendly red letters, the potential snacker to partake of the mind-expanding bounty of the art display BEFORE eating, and eat what may have been the last bit of cracker-and-cheese in the poor graduating student's pantry.

Of course, there is a reasonable possibility that I might be exaggerating slightly, but still--you understand.

I felt Chris had to step in.

Dressing up in a ritualistic fashion, and in full Chris regalia, I donned the Personna and Purdified myself. My kids, who were helping me with the reception stuff, determined it was just another evidence of my exposure to lead and mildly radioactive waste in my formative years, but pretended not to notice. I helped set up the food 30 minutes before hand, because Chris was really starting to get irritated at those darned insensitive theater-goers, and wanted some confrontation. I moved the signs warning about improper refreshment ingestion so they formed an obvious barrier against casual snacking, and sat like a predator (or maybe a small-town speed trap cop) waiting for victims to appear.

It was liberating.

As Chris, I was able to tell the offending, unworthy nibblers exactly what they could do with their greasy little tickets and half-eaten Pringles, unless they wanted to take some quality time and check out the REAL shows. My kids said that in reality I was weirdly polite, self-deprecating, and almost apologetic when I carefully explained why the moochers' behavior was incorrect. My mother-in-law said it was wonderful, and I needed to be Chris to the next family picnic when a huge family of squatters tries to take over the pavilion WE reserved.

After two hours of that, I wondered around the exhibits making Chris comments, and switching between answering questions as Chris (Well, what do YOU think it means?) and as myself (I suppose, before I go into that, I need to know if you are comfortable with the works of Heidegger, Hegel, Kant, Augustine, Pythagoras, Plato, and Ridley Scott--are you?). All in all, it was liberating (vs. the Theater People) and enjoyable.

Best of all, if any of the Theater People complain, they won't call me!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A good conversation between Chris Purdies.

I met with Chris today.  We sat out on the lawn outside of the b66, it was surprisingly warm and then surprisingly cold by the time we went in.  I kept picking little sticks and leaves up and breaking them between my fingers, I noticed that Chris didn't.  I tried to make a mental note.  We talked about how instead of our identity being something that is internal and external forces threaten it, our identity is rather the way that we internalize what and who is around us, we take it in, understand it in a particular way, and then that is manifest in what we call our "identity".  We talked about how in the 5th grade Chris noticed a kid in his class who was full of quirks, and Chris felt like he didn't have any, so he made some up, which consequently have stuck with him through the years.  I confessed that in the 8th grade there were some popular girls who had a habit of scrunching up their nose and top lip when they sniffed.  I thought it was cute (don't ask me why) and in an attempt to be popular in the 8th grade, also adopted the feature.  I do it to this day.  It was nice and a little scary to understand that really, in a strange way, we are all portraits of each other. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Creation Process

Cecilia White - 2009.02.04 - 4.5 hrs
Duane Call - 2009.02.05 - 2.5 hrs
Sherisa Bly - 2009.02.07 - 2.5 hrs
Denise Metcalf - 2009.02.07 - 2 hrs

Monson Hayes - 2009.02.07 - 3 hrs
Amy Purdie - 2009.02.08 - 1 hr

Joscef Castor - 2009.02.09 - 1.75 hrs
Jake Ben Suazo - 2009.02.09 - 1.25 hrs

Melissa Myers - 2009.02.09 - 2 hrs

Maren Dennis - 2009.02.10 - 2 hrs

Amanda VanValkenburg - 2009.02.10 - 2 hrs

Gian Pierotti - 2009.02.10 - 1 hr
Neil Bly - 2009.02.12 - 4 hrs
Jayci Taylor - 2009.02.12 - 2.5 hrs

Aaron Ogilvie - 2009.02.13 - 2 hrs

Christopher Groesbeck - 2009.02.13 - 3.5 hrs

Emily Fox - 2009.02.14 - 2 hrs

Kaneischa Johnson - 2009.02.14 - 1.5 hrs

Jayson Reynolds - 2009.02.14 - 2 hrs
Andy Kosorok - 2009.02.16 - 2hrs
Brian Christensen - 2009.02.17 - 1.5 hrs
Eddie King - 2009.02.18 - 2 hrs
Hallie Wiseley - 2009.02.19 - 1.5 hrs
Lisa Stoffer - 2009.02.19 - 1 hr
Kat Mendeville - 2009.02.19 - 2 hrs
Fidalis Buehler - 2009.02.20 - 2 hrs
Laura A. Rowley - 2009.02.20 - 2 hrs
Joshua Dravland Brown - 2009.02.20 - 1.5 hrs
Hailey Nebeker - 2009.02.21 - 1.5 hrs
Dennis Purdie - 2009.02.22 - 1.5 hrs

Jason Purdie - 2009.02.23 - 1.5 hrs

Lisa Stoffer - 2009.02.20 - 1 hr

Ashley Mae Christensen - 2009.02.24 - 2 hrs

Austin Neal Lynn Baker - 2 meetings - 3 hrs

Ashlan Schofield - - 2 hrs

Judy Simmons - - 2 hrs

Many of the missing photos are due to the experience discussed in The SPEAKERS blog about the speaker suit.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The clothes make the man

I got my uniform today, do I pass? How do you all feel when wearing the uniform? I think the pants make me look fat. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I AM CHRIS PURDIE --- March 6 2009 6-9PM

One Night Performance

Photography: Leo Patrone Design: Cole Nielsen

Title: I am Chris Purdie (I am Chris Purdie, Fidalis Beuhler, Neil Bly, Sherisa Bly, Duane Call, Joscef Castor, Ashley Mae Christensen, Brian Christensen, Maren Dennis, Emily Fox, Christopher Groesbeck, Monson Hayes, Kaneischa Johnson, Eddie King, Andy Kosarok, Kat Mandeville, Denise Metcalf, Melissa Myers, Hailey Nebeker, Colin Nesbit, Megan Nesbit, Gian Pierotti, Dennis Purdie, Jason Purdie, Amy Purdie, Jayson Reynolds, Laura Rowley, Jake Suazo, Jayci Taylor, Amanda VanValkenburg, Cecilia White, Hallie Wisely.)

Performance Description: The project involves 35 performers all playing the same role of visual artist, Chris Purdie, interacting with the viewers during the art reception in the Sego Art Center on March 6 from 6-9 p.m. For the duration of the art exhibition, March 6-28, there will be at least one "Chris Purdie" in the gallery during their hours.

Main Performance and Reception: March 6, 2009 6-9 p.m. (open to the public - free to come and go)

Performance Location: Sego Art Center (169 N. University Ave. Provo)

Exhibition Dates: March 6-28, 2009

For more information contact Chris Purdie: info@

Funded in part by The Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts, College of Fine Arts and Communications, Brigham Young University