The  Best  You  Can



The Best You Can

Performance Documentation

13 min.
Performed in 2012 & 2013


This performance attempts to deal with the roles of skin and image in our contemporary world. Consciously or otherwise, we wear many masks all the time in daily life. Through a futile attempt to reduce the body to a form lacking specific associations, I intend to call attention to the immense stress and stereotypes caused by and related to image presentation, specifically the gender dichotomy that most of us reinforce everyday with varying degrees of awareness. In the act of removing my clothes except for a mask and boys' shorts, then covering the main indicators of identity (face and genitals) with an exorbitant amount of makeup, the frightening cultural depth that these roles inhabit becomes a focus of attention instead of an assumed undercurrent. After an absurd amount of preparation, a dance (composed of muscle memory moves from my pole-vaulting experience) is enacted by the body created. Lots of preparation for a brief performance within a performance ending with a bow -- it's funny, right? While it's impossible to escape the historical consequences and STILL problematic institutional implications of being a white male artist, I at least try to make a nod of awareness to an issue that is often overlooked in favor of formal aesthetics and shallow expressionisms. While I acknowledge that the success of such a reduction is somewhat pathetic, it is nonetheless an act of trying to do the best one can.

jOseph Amodei

Artist & Theater Designer