Journal

Avoidant Attachment

Archived Event
Avoidant Attachment

Past Event

Audrey Baldwin
Performance
Avoidant Attachment

An absurd task was undertaken: to be covered in temporary tattoos and then remove them, with or without help from the audience. This work offered a tongue in cheek commentary on commitment, vulnerability, the self as a product, and the myth of self-reliance.

Audrey Baldwin
“Audrey Baldwin creates moments that invite connection and oscillate between earnest & absurd while playing on expected roles and power dynamics. “
Audrey Baldwin

Hosted by PAWA

Avoidant Attachment

About Event

2023
Performance

Avoidant Attachment

“Avoidant Attachment,” performed by Audrey Baldwin, was an introspective exploration of the difficulty in committing to long-term goals, relationships, or permanent body modifications in a transient world. The performance addressed the concept of avoidant attachment, a trauma response characterized by the avoidance of emotional closeness and the dismissal of intimate relationships. Baldwin, representing a generation that experienced a stable childhood followed by terrorism, financial crises, natural disasters, and a pandemic, reflected on these collective experiences and their impact on personal commitments.

The performance examined the changing significance of tattoos in white capitalist culture, transitioning from puritanical judgment to acceptance and celebration as an art form. In a critique of late capitalism, Baldwin highlighted how tattoos, especially for those without cultural tattooing traditions, have become a means of personal branding.

In this durational piece, Baldwin delved into the absurdity and Sisyphean nature of contemporary life, challenging the myths of individuality and self-reliance. She invited the audience to participate in applying and then removing temporary tattoos, using ready-made symbols like skulls, roses, daggers, and wolves, bought in bulk from Wish. These symbols, stripped of their cultural significance and mass-produced, underscored the cognitive dissonance and discomfort of contemporary identity.

The act of strangers applying and then scrubbing off tattoos on Baldwin’s body in real-time was a powerful invitation to share in vulnerability, within the boundaries set by the gallery space, hand sanitiser, and gloves. This performance highlighted Baldwin’s own limits of intimacy in a thought-provoking display of personal and collective challenges.

 

Photography by Robyn Jordaan

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