TRUST ME: E/S – A Reflection

Pictured: Ilya Noé and Raegan Truax
(c) Gema Álava and Ilya Noé

This is how our conversation began
my feet were heavy
having pounced through puddles
arriving late

I said the bridge was closed.
It was.
I would have been late anyway.
Even here I am always slightly out of time.

You greeted me with kind eyes.
Things made sense –
the wandering tourists,
the monumental horses,
the museum workers in white shirts and stiff grey pants
I imagine cause a constant itch
bodies forced to stall in statuesque stillness,
rampant pacing

I smelled marble
felt rain dripping down the back of my neck
you paused – standing across from me,
Gently, you took my sight
and reached for my arm
fingers wrapping one around another,
elbow couched against your breast.
I hunched my shoulders to hear your every word,
shuffled squeakily when you tried to lead.

But, can you tell me
what does a hippopotamus look like to you?

fingers of your unoccupied hand gestured words lips could not form
I felt these gyrations
parsed them out
as a rhythmic vibration between us.
I learned from the way you moved me
and maybe you from the tilt of my head
the unsteadiness of my pulse –
slightly aware of being watched
the aurality of foreign tongues
the heavy clicking shutter of our author’s

I was cold.
Did you notice?
heat built in our small moments
tap, slide
your forefinger against my forearm
we worked through the sarcophaguses
the histories
of our own glass encasings.

-Raegan Truax

‘Trust Me’, is a piece by Spanish artist Gema Alava, performed as part of the Erogate/Surrogate Series curated by Ilya Noé during the Month of Performance Art in Berlin as an on-going attempt to trouble the notion of an ‘autonomous performer’ and of an ‘original performance’ – and its potential re-performance– by exploring ways in which we are infused by, internalize and collaborate (or do not collaborate) with others as well as with our environments. During the two months leading up to May 27th, Gema shared all the details of her work via Skype and e-mail with her surrogate Ilya Noé who then presented the work to Berlin audiences. Following Gema’s 2010 performance of Trust me in New York City, Ilya individually guided a total of seven selected participants wearing dark glasses through two Berlin museums and performed one-on-one verbal descriptions of particular elements in their surroundings.

Click here for more information about Trust Me: E/S
Click here for Gema Álava’s website
Click here for Ilya Noé’s website