Susan Kendzulak's Relationship Crisis Hotline

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 This is part of my "everything is dangerous" project as emotions can be lethal.

Does art have to be visual? Can it be passed around like name cards? Can relational aesthetics deal with pain?

In my latest project, the "Relationship Crisis Hotline," I have been handing out business cards for months saying that if you've been dumped and feel like dying to call me. I will then go the person's house to prevent a suicide (as the suicide rate over breakups is really out of control here in Taiwan).

This part which is activism and performance is not documented. I will do the counseling part for a long time as it is Karma payback (I feel compelled to do this). In the gallery I exhibited suicide statistics, info about depression and how breakups damage a woman's health for about 2 years, and where people can go for help. Outside on the roof of the gallery was a 3 x 3 meter tent with a very large pillow (2 meters long) inside. A public airing of personal pain. Lit by candles, it was like a heavenly temple, a place that is painful yet allowing cathartic release. This project blurs the boundaries between life and art, and is a work about intense pain.

The Relationship Crisis Hotline was exhibited at the Tainan Art Center in 2005 set up like a counselor's office so that people could have a space to discuss relationships. It was then exhibited at the Taipei Artist Village with only the 'business card' displayed on a plinth.


This is a review of the project: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2004/10/31/2003209168