Self-Congratulatory Toast (2013)
Self-Congratulatory Toast (2013) is a performance accompanied by an art object. The work was shown in a group exhibition at NEST (Den Haag), under the theme “Me, Myself and I.” I placed a neatly pressed pair of trousers onto a white plinth. The trousers were stuffed with colorful confetti, and weighted down by 2 bricks that I selected from the street. Tied to one of the trouser belt loops was a yellow helium balloon with a circumference of 1.50 meters, which was partially sponsored by a shop, so that I did not have to finance my own work out of pocket. My performance on November 14th 2013 consisted of inviting everyone to raise their glass in a toast to me, urging others to welcome me into the art world, using what I imagined to be the standpoint of a naive and hopeful art academy undergraduate in the current political climate. I asked a friend to “do the honors” after my toast, and lift the bricks from the trousers. The helium balloon shot up to the ceiling, yanking the trousers along with it, and spraying colorful confetti all over the crowd and floor. This is the text of the toast:
Colleagues! Friends! Peers! Please join me! I would like to make a toast! Thanks are in order, to you for attending, to the artists, who give us their work to contemplate, and to NEST for creating this occasion. I would also like to thank my personal sponsor, de ballonnenwinkel.nl, for providing me with the financial means to make my artwork. Obviously, I would like to congratulate my peers, for being a part of this exhibition, but most of all, I would like to congratulate myself. I think my presence at this exhibit will help me find my personal brand of authenticity as an artist. I believe I’ll have a long career of critical self-reflection, failures that ultimately lead to triumph, and finally, to the financial independence I deserve just for being myself. If you have glass, please raise it! Edd, could you do the honors? (Edd lifts brick from the trousers) May I forever be able to hold up my own trousers! Cheers and Thank you!
Photo credits: Djoehko