Photo credits: Hans Jörg Pfister-Köfler, PERFORMANCE REIHE NEU-OERLIKON 2018, Zurich Switzerland.
"I promise to love, to cherish and to honour you in sickness and in health"
The oatH_'A-Z' is an ongoing performance project that started at PERFORMANCE REIHE NEU-OERLIKON 2018, Zurich Switzerland. it borrows and appropriates rituals of swearing, making vows, proclamations, confession of love and pledges [into] political activism. It explores both religious and social subversions in different spaces, places, times, with different people and cultures while cultivating the audience into integral elements of performance art.
The performance brings most or all audiences into a participatory dialogue and performative reflections where they swear to each other similar vows used in 'marriages or love cults'. These audiences may pick each other randomly whether already friends, families, strangers, or even enemies. It also collapses the concept of audience as spectators in performance art as well as confronts social challenges to human relationship in wake of gender discrimination, homophobic violence, sexism, racism etc.
However, the "oatH" is an attempt to reinvent a post-religious/ post-colonial notion of covenant that will be closely spiritual other than the religious worldview of human relationship and love. It examines the concept of intimacy, commitment and dis-othering within both conservative communities and liberal democratic societies.
In other words, the "oatH" is an act and art of swearing of oaths, making vows and pledging to one another; a ‘love’ that shall be non-racial, non-gendered, non-religious, non-ethnic, non-sexist and non-godly but rather viewed on the fundamental basis of sharing common elements of the body, life, blood and soul as humans. It is to dismantle the borders and boundaries that conflict our identities while confronting our own ego and fear of otherness.