Performance for Debt

Eunsong Kim

This project is to conceptualize the possibilities of non-growth-based economies—the possibility in gathering negatives in order to construct neutrals (rather than its surplus). In this durational performance, I will acquire an occupation that requires portions of my body to be revealed and for my body to be engaged in traditional service activities—in exchange for high-value gratuities. It is important to stress, however, that this occupational performance will not engage in sex work—as this work does not wish to make abstract an occupation that has already become problematically abstracted and filled with the metaphors of others. This is also a performance that will resist the aura and meaning of sacrifice & punishment and will actively speak on behalf of my body—if ever violence becomes present.

While I accrue an acceptable and needed amount of currency, the gallery that installs this performance will be contacting individuals (they will be kept anonymous from myself and the performance) who have become obsessed and disillusioned by personal debt. There will be a criterion stating the kinds of debt that will and will not be acceptable for this performance participation. For example, desiring participants cannot bring forth business-accrued debt, gambling debt, the debts of others.

The currency acquired by this occupational performance will be managed by the gallery and immediately paid toward the participant’s respective debt accounts—until the accounts no longer require payment. When full debt payment has been reached, all parties involved will sign contracts to abstain from future contact. And the durational performance will continue for another participant.

At this moment, there is no time limit for this performance.

The performance will proceed until my desires for debt have been fulfilled, nullified.

EUNSONG KIM's work has appeared in the Seattle Review, Denver Quarterly, and Tinfish Journal.