A Swiss-born artist named Clarina Bezzola has a performance piece called “Judgment Day.” In a video of the performance, she wears large mitts that look like fingers, and strolls through Manhattan, pointing at things with the fingers, proclaiming her judgments of all she sees.
Bezzola begins her journey enthusiastically. She states the good (farmers market, dog run, outdoor cafe) and the bad (a big Ralph Lauren ad, Fresh Direct, church). But as her negative judgments turn into a frenzy, she loses steam. She judges, but without verve. Her pointing fingers drag. Judgment, the viewer can surmise, is hard work.
Bezzola’s performance is suggestive of the Hamletian maxim that “nothing is either good or bad, but thinking [or judging] makes is so.”
Her’s is not a novel concept (Hamlet was published around the turn of the 17th century and I think a few others have stated similar conceits). But it’s a nice illustration of how most of us go through the world: creating collages of positive and negative judgments. We like ice cream, social justice and Ira Glass. We don’t like Wonder Bread, the industrial military complex and Glenn Beck. Continue reading “Judgment Day”