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Christina Sukhgian Houle

  • Project Space 613 Allen Street Austin, TX, 78702 United States (map)

"1/24" is the first part of a series currently in development, 12/24/360, in which I collaborate with 12 individuals and document their actions and conversations for 24 hours and then reverse the process and become the subject of their documentation.

The idea for this show developed from feeling unclear about how I constructed and modified my sense of self. I felt that my identity shifted slightly depending upon who was in my presence and that it was through my relationships with friends, relatives and strangers that my sense of self was constructed. I wondered what parts of me consistently presented themselves as components of my identity, regardless of my surroundings, and what parts only appeared in certain circumstances. I also wondered if there was a hierarchy of importance for these different elements of self and/ or if they were not different but in fact collaborative parts of a cohesive whole.

For 1/24 I made contact with a stranger I found on Craiglist, Willem Dunham and, using my camera and tape recorder tracked his actions and interactions for a 24-hour period. Two weeks later he entered my world and did the same for me. My hope was that by witnessing one another’s process of defining self in different contexts we would give validity to all parts of the other’s identity, and perhaps begin to question the permeability of self. 

The resulting product of Willem and my work together are the photographs we created, projections of our email correspondence, sound recordings of our conversations and a brief performance, in which the concept of self will be defined, redefined and questioned when using text from interviews we conduct of one another, I will re-embody Wil’s words so that I deliver his text while listening to it through headphones.

Christina Sukhgian Houle is a visual and performance artist working out of central Texas. She has studied and performed comedic improvisation at The Second City (IL), been named by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Top Ten Dance Phenomena of 2008, worked with Creative Time (NY) and was a visiting artist at Spelman College (GA). Her original evening length theater-dance piece “Science of Suggestion” premiered at Frontera Festical and most recently her duration performance “16 Conversations with Escape Bird” was streamed to the Antena Gallery (IL).