In Priestess Faust Walk (2015), Wilson embarks on what he terms a “debris-driven dérive,” sourcing discarded lottery tickets from the streets of Boston and weaving them into a ceremonial wreath. For Wilson, the performance traces “an alternate map of Boston based on the loss, desire and economics of the lottery.” The performance culminates when he bestows the wreath upon an ancient Roman sculpture from the Museum of Fine Art’s collection. Wilson combines the laurel—a symbol of achievement in the Western world—with Faust’s wagering of his future for a more prosperous present. By imparting this offering to an anonymous priestess, his intervention equalizes the value and permanence of the Museum’s collection with the ephemeral nature of living life by the lotto.
This performance forms part of “Performing Portraiture: Video from the Collection of Manuel de Santaren,” in the Krupp Gallery of the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. The two-part installation focuses on highly staged and ritualistic actions that reveal how identity is performed on camera and in our everyday lives.
This event took place April 15, 2015.
Photo by Shane Godfrey
Performance Art at the MFA is supported by Lorraine Bressler.