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November 1st 1998
Bay Area, CA
A slow motion dressed in as much yellow as we could muster on Mission from 23rd to 24th Street.
The gray morning glory of a block of mission street. 9:20am: the slow walk toward 10:30am, a block away. The produce market, then the butcher shop: I remove a banana from my pocket and slowly peel it, eat a bite, eating in slow motion is strange because your saliva does much of the work for you and most of the challenge is swallowing. I offer the banana over the course of a half hour, to three fellow yellowers: one refuses, one bites off a chunk, one breaks off a piece with her hand. I tire of the banana put the rest in my pocket. Wet pavement, wet stone embedded sidewalks, red and blue tile. The width of the sidewalk contains many possibilities, from the curb to the humans passing by, not too many because its Saturday morning and its raining, to the shop, empty storefront, to the benches, to the palm tress. Palm trees! Until I hear a rustle of leaves, until I look overhead, I’m under the assumption it’s a telephone pole embedded with staples and nails just overhead. I thank it, I bless it for the hard job it is given to do, to be a palm tree on Mission street.
I see the coffee shop. I see into dress shops, with the tiny lacy dresses hanging from the ceiling, I see the Christmas lights hanging from the awning of the liquor store with the boarded up windows. As teenagers approach the rest of the group and ask to take a picture, a woman emboldens herself as she is opening her shop to ask me why we are doing this. “Is it a spiritual thing?” she asks, “a ritual?”. A ritual. I say. An art project. I say. To enliven space in a different way. I say. she tells me she lived in the mission her whole life. Owned the shop since 1962. We agree this block is beautiful.
text by Shelly Smith
Performers dressed in yellow: Alan Abruzzo, Beaker Prince, Chris White, Gretchen Schuster, Heather Ford, Jon Lustig, Laura Marsh, Laurel Carangelo, Olive Bieringa, Samantha Beers, Shelly Smith, Thomas Sepe