"On Sept 23, 2005 I began a project called 365 performances in which I set out to do a performance action every day for a year.
The context, content and methods of documenting the daily actions varied greatly. Many took place in and around my studio, in very much the same way that daily practices or rituals of other kinds are centred around ones home.
I sought to use this project as a means to better understand fundamental aspects of performance as contemporary art, to see the performativity in the everyday by forcing performance into the everyday and to have the creation or process of the project be the work itself, without the limitations of the live viewer and venue that is typically quintessential to time-based work.
I unofficially began the work with a preparatory action on September 16th, in which I had the date when I would begin the project tattooed on my left forearm to remind me to make manifest my daily actions. In addition to the daily actions, I also posted images from each one on my website, and create a traditional slide image that represents each days work. The slides are periodically exhibited in sequential order on light boxes and used in "slide show performances" in which all the images are shown at a rapid pace accompanied by a soundtrack of noises made in the execution of the actions.
Each performance also involved the completion of a daily tracking form that notes details about the action, location, method of documenting, the date and number of the performance. The form is completed in triplicate to have 2 copies for archival purposes and one copy that is attached to objects used in the actions, which are also archived. I came to consider these ongoing and integral aspects of 365 Performances. Almost the foundation or control track that the periodic daily activities rest upon.
Often there were sub-serials within the 365 performances and they regularly pushed traditional ideas of what, where and when there's performance. Many take place in my studio, home and many public spaces, in very much the same way that daily practices or rituals of other kinds are centred around one's home. Almost as a daily worship of the subject, I have found that the sometimes burdened and sometimes joyful daily ritual bears better personal insight into not only locations of everyday life but also into a base human need for routine.
I attempt to confuse art and life, and I attempt to have a new kind of experience with the viewer.
- Jamie McMurry
The liveartwork editions DVD of Jamie McMurry's 365 Performances project features a 41 minute video made up of snatches of fragmentary documentation from all of the 365 performances. The seemingly chaotic images quickly become compulsive viewing as the all encompassing scale and hidden subtleties of the project become evident.
Click here to download a PDF file with a critical text by
For over ten years US artist Jamie McMurry has been creating original performance art works and presenting them internationally. He co-founded the Rite! Performance Art Troupe and Powderkeg Contemporary Performance and has also organized several major performance art exhibitions in Seattle, Los Angeles and Boston including the Full Nelson Festival.
He is currently based in Los Angeles.
Autobiographical in its foundation, McMurry's work also deal with nationalist identity and the desire for conformity. Although physical intensity and aggression are common frames for his actions, the pain of the work is circumstantial - much as it is in everyday life.
Jamie McMurry can be contacted via his website:
Total video duration: 41 minutes.
Original performance duration: 365 days
The video contains a small amount of text spoken in English.
Published on a DVD-R disk in PAL or NTSC format.
Original documentation by Jamie McMurry
DVD production by Christopher Hewitt for liveartwork
Published May 2007 by liveartwork.
To order click here