Cathartic Fruit Salad

by | Sep 27, 2017 | Artwork #1: Score

Cathartic Fruit Salad
 With friends or alone
 Go to a public place with fruit, a blunt implement, and a marker.
 Write something on a piece of fruit
 destroy it
 Repeat until no fruit remains.
 If someone asks you what you are doing
 Invite them to join you.

Artist Statement: 
This piece is based on the overarching ideas in a lot of happenings and fluxist pieces where playfulness is at the forefront. This score is focused on a very tactile experience, from the writing your thoughts or anxieties onto fruit, to literally smashing that fruit, often getting fruit juice all over yourself. But what it is most is fun. Its designed to be satisfying, whether its done alone or with an entire class, and it always balances the personal and the public. I feel like I combined the core ideas behind "Stone Piece" by Yoko Ono and Alison Knowles' "Make a Salad," where there is a personal element to the piece that you share with others without them getting to know the details as seen in the former, as well as the playful and fairly comical nature of things similar to the latter. The thing I like most about fluxist art is that artifacts don't need to be permanent, and meanings don't need to be vast or overly thought provoking. The simple joy of my piece is my favorite part. When someone reads it, they laugh. Its a silly idea. But when it's implemented, it gets to be cathartic. Despite the simplicity, you can ultimately find different experiences based on who is doing the score. For instance, when I performed it in class I used it as a way to clear my anxieties about failures. I would write hopeful or affirmative statements, and in destroying the fruit attached, I would activate the truth of those statements. Others just enjoyed the hammering of fruit, while a couple people I talked to used it to get out frustrations about people who have wronged them. No matter what the player puts in, the outcome is the same: a simple joy of smashing fruit. It activates a childish glee that I think many fluxist pieces thrive on, which is something that I think is very important to spend time on as we grow more jaded to the world around us. 

Watching people perform the score during class and in a session afterwards showcased exactly what I intended. People would start finding creative ways to destroy the fruit. Because the instructions are vague enough in how you go about destroying the fruit, it allowed people to choose to throw fruit into cement to destroy it, or even grab a friend and play baseball with a banana. It was very playful, and everyone would usually come out the other side with a simple comment:
"Smashing fruit is fun."