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, March 7, 2009

I hate to have to say it...

...But I don't enjoy "being" Chris Purdie. Nothing personal, Chris. I felt a dreadfilled pit in my stomach all day Friday: could have been the weather, could have been the anxiety I feel about winter driving (I went to Ephraim that day), or it could have been the knowledge that I was going to don the ill-fitting brown pants and hairdo-smashing beanie that evening. Added to that I do not wear contacts or glasses, and the glasses infringe on my viewing pleasure as they slide down my nose every 3 minutes. Call me vain, but it bothers me not to "look my best." The clothing does nothing for my figure, and I like to wear earrings. Chris doesn't wear earrings.

I have gone to school twice as Chris Purdie, those were the days when my schoolmates looked past me and didn't recognize me. It felt like heresy not to follow the unwritten BYU code for single women: You will wear make-up and have your hair done everyday, no matter if you are wearing sweats, you never know where you will meet your EC (eternal companion). I went to Costa Vida one day for lunch, and the man behind the counter who asks everyone if they want "black or pinto sir/mam?" didn't follow his question with a reference to gender. He just didn't call me anything. The androgynous element to the Chris costume is an interesting one, it makes me uncomfortable. I don't think the "real" Chris Purdie or the male actors may experience what we women feel when donning the uniform. Your thoughts, ladies???

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