50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, BANK, Shanghai, as part of the show Topophilia

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (2013)
Interactive installation

In a juvenile punk-rock fantasy world that I escape to in difficult moments, I am biking down a street in China. It is a clear blue-sky day. Suddenly from behind, a car comes screeching up behind me, nearly hitting me without slowing down. Pulling up to a stoplight the pudgy driver with no neck and aviator glasses stares ahead with a cigarette hanging off his lips. I bike up to the driver’s side window, knock on the glass and smile. As the window slips down, I look him in the eye and say very politely, “Hey f*---*r, you almost killed me. Please learn to drive, Pigface.” Fatso’s mouth hangs open as he pushes open the car door. He takes a step towards me with one outstretched hand, cigarette butt squeezed between his fat fingers. He lunges to grab me. I jump off the bike to dodge and in one motion reach down, grab the base of the bike frame and fling it onto the hood of the shiny black car. There is the screeching sound of metal on metal. The bike’s front wheel smashes through the windshield with a shattering of broken glass that looks, in my cinematic mind, like slow-motion fireworks.

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover enacts a childish fantasy. The object is specific to a time and place carrying specific connotations of privilege and power - in other words, an easy target. In actuality this object is merely a receptacle for venting an infinite number of personal frustrations. It’s helping me to get it out of my system.

The work’s title comes from a Paul Simon song describing various techniques for disengaging from complicated personal entanglements. Of the 50 ways, I imagine this as one option. 

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,Observation Society, Guangzhou as part of solo show, Infinite Loop

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,Observation Society, Guangzhou as part of solo show, Infinite Loop

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,Observation Society, Guangzhou as part of solo show, Infinite Loop

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, BANK, Shanghai, as part of the show Topophilia

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, BANK, Shanghai, as part of the show Topophilia

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, BANK, Shanghai, as part of the show Topophilia

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, BANK, Shanghai, as part of the show Topophilia