DIY Lover (Portland)
The performance consists of a textual reading that directs the onstage construction of a lover. The text Liddle delivers is compiled from a number of different dating guides, self help websites, and how to manuals. Semczyszyn reactively builds the lover from objects solicited in advance from participants who were asked to donate something they considered gendered. DIY Lover (Portland) is a performative inquiry into the material configuration of contemporary dating advice.
Part of the project was concerned with exposing the absurdity of these texts and their essentializing of gender in laying out rules to get a partner. The interplay between the text and the construction highlights the focus on control and responsibility in the dating advice, and the implications for identity in acquiring and maintaining a relationship.
Liddle and Semczyszyn are Vancouver based artists who have both shown internationally. They have an ongoing collaborative relationship using art practices as a methodology for analysis and criticism of social structures.