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May I Borrow Your Body?
Giovanni Giacoia & Alison Mcbride
Garden | Domestic
Sat | Sun: 10am - 5pm
Venue 41:
165 Stanmore Road
G42 9AN

Visual Art

May I Borrow Your Body? is a new participatory work by Giovanni Giacoia and Alison McBride specifically conceptualised for Glasgow Open House in the Covid-era. The performance will be a continuation of their exploration of interaction between strangers. This is an inquiry started by the duo during their GOH 2017 performance, An Alien Word you Want to Say, and their GOMA performance The Art Confessional. The project consists of two steps: firstly, instructions for different performative actions written in letter format and secondly, the actions themselves performed by strangers. Yet the gesture imagined by the writer will never exactly match the action of the reader’s performing body. What does this anonymity mean for the ‘we-feeling’ of emotional connection to others?

The event will take place in the front garden of 165 Stanmore Road. Participants will be invited to choose an instruction letter and to write one themselves to replace it. The written instruction can take any form, for example: a recipe; a set of numbered instructions; a place to visit. The perfomative actions, detailed in the letters, will be completed remotely and can happen anytime in the present or in the future. Participants will be invited to document their remote performance on social media using the hashtag #mayiborrowyourbody.

May I Borrow your Body is a reflection on the actions, which during a pandemic were carried out for others. It will be an investigation of the way one body communicates with others; of the dichotomy I/you; of building trust and acceptance and of the poetic quality of actions. It will be a hopeful return to forms of community re-embodiment through actions, after over a full year of lockdown and stasis. It will be an opportunity to question touch, distance and collective making in a fun and safe away.

Giovanni and Alison’s performances are concerned with the way the body moves through space and experience. Their work deals with themes of communication, language and the mechanics of abstraction.


The artist states:​

  • Information or printed text will be accessible (ie large form print readily available or on request etc.)

  • There will be a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, audio description or subtitles

  • The garden is accessed via stairs but there will also be an alternative area, which can be accessed from the pavement for participants who cannot climb stairs

*The above information has been provided by the artist and is subject to change due to covid and other factors. Please get in touch with the artist or venue directly if you require more details.*

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