The Reception

At Selected Embassies in Tokyo
The Reception for
An Embassy without a Country
A Performance and Installation

      On this voyage of representation, Ambassador Solo performs a long amble paced ritual of writing the borderline between frontiers. This attenuated ritual includes elements reminiscent of the "Kow Tow" ceremonies in ancient China and the nine Prostrations designed to humiliate the visitor as performed before the Chinese Emperor's Court. The ritual becomes a dance performance enacted by the ambassador for the supposed purpose of proprietal verification and ranking. A somber ceremony challenging the fragile borders between humor, sarcasm and the pathetically tragic. The ambassador is followed by an entourage of protocol scribes, themselves followed by a group of laborers and the ubiquitous woman. The Ambassador himself leads the mission with a charrete-like apparatus designed to scribe the path taken. This apparatus, a machine commissioned by the Embassy for the writing of borders, has never in fact performed the ascribed function for which it was made. As a failed prototype, its work remains strictly symbolic to all but the Ambassador. Unable to appreciate the merits of a consummate borderline writing apparatus, the ambassador perseveres in his mission in spite of the humiliation of not being recognized by most officials in his ceremonious role. To rectify this, an assiduous compilation of protocol books, ported by the laborers, are bundled into haystack-like packages by the apparatus and are deposited on its path, forming a perpetually growing wall of protocol books. The apparatus itself, not unlike an ambulant vendor or a homeless person's cart, at times resembling a plow if not at times a harvester, is carried by the ambassador himself in ceremonial stride. The ceremony itself is paced by the sounds and hootings of a breathing machine that is mounted on the apparatus, all of which is underlined by the industriously automated waving of flags that balance themselves from right to left in a deliberately funereal yet unquestionably military march. When in full gala uniform, Ambassador Solo is at least recognized as an official. This in spite of a paranoiac allure. When the ambassador presents himself out of the formal gala uniform, a disturbingly schizophrenic appearance inhibits even the most tolerant bureaucrats. Ambassador Solo is a person, indeed any person in search of "Identity" who in the process of finding himself from "within", inadvertently catches a glimpse of the same person "without" and can't help but laugh at the site. Indeed the gist of humor.
Embassy Productions

At Selected Embassies in Tokyo
May 8th, 9th, 15th & 16th, 1998
May 1st to May 29th 1998
Space Untitled 137 Green Street (SOHO)
New York, NY (212) 674-1524