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Brush your teeth with me (2004)

In this interactive performance I went to people’s homes and brushed my teeth with them on the sidewalk, leaving the toothpaste to stain the concrete. Without the usual confines of the bathroom, we gaze at each other instead of a mirror. The taboo act of spitting conflicts with the sanctified act of personal hygiene. Our speech is temporarily impaired while our mouths are full; the awkwardness isn’t alleviated by small talk.

Weeks and months later I would come back to document the stains, until they disappeared. The “stain” is an area of sidewalk that is cleaned by the toothpaste, disappearing as the spot is dirtied again over time. The ongoing accumulation of photocopies and Polaroid photographs of spit stains, taken from the multiple sites of performances, were displayed in the gallery as part of an investigation into the possibility of systematizing the documents.