TELETHON begins as each caller, seated side by side on a tiered stage, rips a page from the local white pages, picks up his or her phone's handset, and begins to dial numbers taken sequentially from the phone book. The entire process is miked and amplified for the studio audience and recorded through the phone line for an audio and video archive. The performance iterates from seemingly endless dial tones and ringing, to strange momentary windows into random people lives transmitted by the sounds of their outgoing voicemail, and then the occasional surprised answer of an unidentified person to the question, “What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘feminism’."
The performance ends nearly one-hour later as each caller reashes the last phone number on their page, with the sound of the performance slowly dwindling down until the last caller hangs up the phone. TELETHON is cacophonous, an illustration of the chaos, disparity, and heterogeneity of contemporary feminist positions.
Watch the LIVESTREAM of the performance hosted on the Hammer Museum's website below:
Performance documentation below:
ALL PHOTOS ABOVE: Jen Kennedy and Liz Linden, TELETHON, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, February 19-March 5, 2017. Photos by Todd Cheney.