Performance art isn’t a medium exclusively for professionals. On the Utah Capitol steps tonight, almost 100 students, docents, volunteers, documentarians, performers and their families and friends will come together for a 12-hour silent group performance to cause a ripple in the urban fabric.
The Warnock art residency program has brought Ernesto Pujol to the University of Utah for the semester, and he’s not spending all his time in a lecture hall; instead, Pujol has undertaken a project to highlight what he calls “a great but quiet cultural movement, a stirring in Salt Lake City.”
Residents and visitors alike will have the chance to follow silent performers, dressed in white, up Capitol Hill at dusk, gathering on the Capitol steps, where they will share a moment before they begin a long evening ascending and descending the many steps and “turning them into a great biblical Jacob’s ladder.”
International artist Janine Antoni, recipient of the 1998 MacArthur Award, will also be joining the performance. As a well-known conceptual female artist, Antoni will contribute her experience with sculpture, installation and performance to this unique evening.
Pujol’s belief in a society of distractions informs this production, where performance is built around the constant diversions of city life while ignoring them as actors appreciate silence, solitude and reflection. Docents will be available for questions as the performers remain through the duration, undisturbed by the sights and sounds around them.