JoyAbound® is a fictitious company that provides advice to women about how to lead a happier life. This project addresses the constructs of identity as articulated through Internet advertising, imagery, and text.
JoyAbound® is constructed as a trade show booth within the gallery. The main section of the performance has a reception desk, attended by greeters who engage with the audience in intimate conversations about happiness and how to achieve it. Visitors can also read testimonials as well as information about programs and workshops from brochures. The language for the exhibition is culled from hundreds of online suggestions for how to be a happy woman/person. Such advice constitute slogans such as “stop worrying about money,” “stop worrying about what other people think,” “take two holidays a year,” “enjoy the little comforts in life,” and “pay off all debts.” Company name was conceived by an online business name generator.
Structure of the performance
Similar to Dungeons and Dragons, this project sets up a constructed situation as a framework in which the performance occurs. Through role play, participants have agency in creating and developing their individual characters, and, to some extent, also the development of the work itself. Like the dungeon master I am the storyteller that direct and organize the work, and each participant creates her own character to perform within the parameters that I assign. Performers interact with the setting, the audience and with each other– a large component of the work is constituted by the dialogue or interactions that the situation elicits. The audience has the option to either engage, be bystanders, or ignore the performance all together.
Performed at Root Division Gallery, July 11th, 2015.
Participants: Jeanne Buffa, Lauren Wooley, Jessica Marks, Kathy Jaller and Becky Lo Dolce.
Logo: Doug Becker.