For the month of September and October, Stacey L. Kirby’s PARTicipate transforms CAM’s Media Lab space into the Bureau of Personal Belonging. The site-specific installation includes two ongoing works, The Declaration Project and VALIDnation and explores new territory with the debut of The Power of the Ballot. Visitors become part of the works through active participation in a series of interactions with Kirby and other performers. Kirby implores us to trust in the validity of our own voices and our power to make an impact on the governing bodies that shape our communities.
PARTicipate is open to the public during CAM’s regular hours from September 5th thru October 26th. Bureau of Personal Belonging staff members will be working during the following times:
October 2nd, 6-8 pm
October 3rd, First Friday, 6-8 pm
October 22-24th, Performance residency, 11 am – 5 pm daily
PARTicipate is a call to action. Stacey L. Kirby implores us to trust in the validity of our own voices and our power to make an impact on the governing bodies that shape our communities.
Over the past seven years Stacey L. Kirby has developed a series of what she has dubbed “performative interactions” – performances set within site-specific installations that are activated by viewer participation. The works evolve with the physical and historical setting, political climate, and audience involvement at each location. At CAM, Kirby has transformed the museum space into the Bureau of Personal Belonging, which includes two ongoing works, The Declaration Project and VALIDnation and explores new territory with the debut of The Power of the Ballot.
PARTicipate requires visitors to engage with Kirby and other performers in the three designated areas of the Bureau of Personal Belonging: the Department of Declarations, the Civil Validation Department and the Board of Elections. Each is occupied by an actor in the role of a government official and evokes an office setting tailored to represent the governmental process it critically examines: immigration and customs declarations, the acquisition of government identification, and voting.
PARTicipate is part of CAM Raleigh’s Emerging Artists Series and is supported by SiteLink Software, DECO Raleigh and the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.
The Declaration Project
Since 2007, artist Stacey L. Kirby has played the part of a Local Declarations Officer in The Declaration Project, her ongoing “performative interaction” with the public. In her mobile vintage office space, Officer Kirby has taken over 1100 participants on an interactive exploration of self-identity through the creation of a bureaucratic paper trail. The office “stage” has popped up in various galleries and storefronts – even in a P.O.D.S container. Each office installation has customized Declarations cards, an IN/OUT board, a punch clock, authentic paper files, office knick knacks, ink stamps, the sounds of a Olivetti typewriter, etc. As the uniformed officer on duty, Kirby asks visitors to take part in a handwritten assessment of their “personal belongings” — these declarations cards are then archived and travel with the project. Officer Kirby invites all participants to step out of the virtual and into the physical world by reflecting upon their personal histories through the ever-growing Declaration Project.
Check out The Declaration Project on Vimeo (video courtesy Alex Maness)
VALIDnation is an ongoing interactive performance art piece exploring civil rights and the validity of communities, families, and individuals throughout the United States. Kirby’s initial motivation came from the campaigning for and against the passing of Amendment One, which bans civil rights for same-sex families in North Carolina. The fuel for her “political performative” fire continues to burn as our nation’s states pass legislation limiting same-sex couples’ rights, women’s access to healthcare, voting rights and cutting unemployment benefits.