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Searching for Diogenes

2014, performance and installation

Searching for Diogenes was a three-part performance and interactive installation staged over the course of three days at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The project wove together the life, myth and legacy of Diogenes the Cynic (AKA the Dog) while questioning relationships to performance, public space, historical representation and cultural conventions.
Staged over the course of three days, ACT I took the form of a performance/lecture; ACT II loosely recreated some of Diogenes' most infamous actions; ACT III invited young artists to participate in collaboratively reimagining the image of Diogenes through gestural/sculptural performances.

With: Nathalie Brilliant, Maria Dawn, Connor Erickson, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Severn Pemberton, Sarah St. Leger and Pedro Verdin


Image of Diogenes the Cynic installed at the entrance of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (visitors could insert their face in the cutout from inside the front gallery).








Series of single channnel video loops played within the Searching for Diogenes installation.

Through his philosophy of disruptive performance, Diogenes of Sinope demonstrated that personal happiness is satisfied by meeting one's natural needs -- and what is natural cannot be shameful or indecent. Determined to follow his own dictates and not adhere to the conventions of society, he was given the epithet "dog," from which the name "cynic" is derived. As legend has it, when asked why he was called a dog, Diogenes replied, "Because I fawn upon those who give me anything, bark at those who give me nothing, and bite the rogues."