• Beach Church
Beach Church is a spontaneous and semi-collaborative performance piece with no audience present. While on a beach walk, the artist and three other participants, stumbled upon a sand wall with an altar like space carved out. The artist found a piece of driftwood in the shape of a Virgin Mary and asked the others to search the beach for beautiful objects to offer. Once placed they held hands and did a short prayer. A few weeks later the artist returned to document the alter.
The piece questions what performance art is. Must the performers know they are performing? Must there be an audience? Must it be planned?
The artists believes that this was a performance because it transformed actions and objects into rituals and symbols. The objects came to mean something other than a rock or shell. The alter and Mary were treated as something more sacred than sand and driftwood.
I asked one of the participants, an atheist, what he thought of the experience:
“I’ve never been one for prayer, but it has always been in a more formalized setting. This was more honest somehow. And if we’re praying to a creator figure, the sea (and the small collection of beach objects) seems to fit better than most.”