Patty Chang (b. 1972)
Melons (1998)
Melons, 1998, 4 minute, SD video

A performance juggling a narrative of an imaginary cultural ritual of receiving a plate at a relatives death with the act of cutting and eating a melon while balancing a plate on the head.

Melons is a video based on images and script about my aunt’s death from breast cancer and the emotion void in my memory. The text is a construction of rituals that plays with notions of the authentic. The act of juggling too much text and imagery immerses the viewer in a third, imagined narrative.

Eve Oishi writes of Patty Chang’s work in Camera Obscura, “Her performance pieces can be best described as balancing acts, not only in the way she manipulates her body but in her ability to create works that juxtapose absolute stillness with explosive tension, sly humor with incisive revelation, and penetrating commentary with emotional force.”