Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Share: Declaration of Profits

MY SHARE is a durational, shared, eating campaign performed by artist A K Mimi Allin. It begins on 30 October 2015 and lasts for one month or 30 shares. This work is dedicated to the artist's brother, who lives in NYC, works as a senior executive in the high stakes world of international finance and who is entering his 50th year. Happy Birthday, Richard!

The artist borrows language from her brother's world, the business world, and applies it to her own, the world of performance art. In doing so, she draws parallels between their worlds, showing how both build, hold and transform community. In his world, a"share" is a unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset. In her world, the word "share" means one shared meal, with anyone, stranger or friend, any time of day or night. Like a shareholder who doesn't have direct control over the business's day-to-day operations, but who is entitled to an equal distribution in profits, the artist's brother will benefit from the gift of 30 shares in the artist herself, by sharing in the profits from her investments, all the emotional, physical and spiritual benefits of 30 shared meals. This suggests a direct connection between the welfare of one and the welfare of the other, whether a sibling, or a member of the community.

Shares will be offered as picnics on park benches, chance meetings on street corners and invitations to private homes. Shares may, as funds allow, be taken in cafes (ah but funds rarely allow). A share is not intended to be an easily purchased or thoughtlessly consumed meal, but rather a meal sought after and depended upon. The artist may eat as often and as frequently as she likes, so long as the meals are shared. This demands that the artist invest herself in the community or go without. And, in fact, she may choose to go without, but when she does, there will be no profits. A daily log, posted online at Declaration of Profits, will document this work.

Sharing meals for 30 days may seem an easy task to those with spouses or roommates, to those who work or live in community, but for the single artist, with a limited income, who doesn't work a day job and eats 95% of her meals alone, this work will prove a large effort.

MY SHARE comes in response to a family crisis, or rather to a developing situation. As sister and brother begin to negotiate the care of an aging parent, it becomes quickly evident how their differences would tear them apart. The artist offers a commitment to seek and share herself, her resources, her profits, both spiritual and material, with her family and with those around her, as an offering from a life of love to one who is loved.

"To my community, I call on you. I ask your help, to make this work. Meet me. Eat with me. A pear, a slice of buttered bread." - A K Mimi Allin

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