Okaaaaaay, before we read about Tanner’s awesome video art piece, I first need to give a little introduction about this gem of a dude. Tanner is one of the most real, kind and loving people I have ever met. He is the real deal. He’s so talented and he shares his talents in so many different ways. I’ve seen it in how he’s influenced my own life. I also love his style and sarcasm. Or sarcasm and style. Whatever. Just know he’s super rad and his art is amazing.
We all have a long list of past baggage and influences that add together to create a mass of intertwined and convoluted pressures, expectations and motives.
A few months ago I experienced a culmination of all these variables like I hadn’t in the past, and felt like complete shit in a multitude of different ways, so I finally decided to take the plunge into one of our very favorite social taboos: going to see a therapist.
I felt frustrated and hurt by conservatism’s perceived and projected expectations, the undiagnosed OCD I have dealt with since 4th grade finally needed to be given a name, family issues became near unbearable, I was feeling especially lonely and particularly sexually repressed, and unnecessary guilt had been settling into a chronic routine.
Let me go ahead and place a plug right here: I have had an incredibly positive experience seeing a therapist at Brigham Young University to my surprise, and although I know that’s not everyone’s story based on some negative experiences I’ve heard about, I personally have nothing but good things to say. I have felt zero inhibitions talking to my therapist despite it being a religious university with a specific governing code, I used whatever language I felt expressed my emotions, I felt zero judgement addressing things typically ignored, and my session only included religion when I initiated it.
Duet with Mom
Okay okay, I’m a contemporary artist and creative director and in most of my past work, I’ve had pretty clear and aimed conceptual frameworks, but for “Duet with Mom,” I knew only my intentions for the piece, some specific stylistic decisions, and the placement of some subtle easter eggs, but I couldn’t voice what it was going to be or what performing the piece would mean to me.
I wasn’t sure if it was a cathartic exercise, or self-harm based. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to gain from the performance, either.
I planned for my mom to meet at a friend’s house on a Saturday afternoon, I expected 10 friends who came of their own volition based on a friend’s jokingly fake Facebook event entitled, “Watch Tanner Get Beat Up” and then it became so fascinating to me it became a reality and worked itself into the concept, and three other friends, one to film, one to punch, and the other to provide me with the house and ice.
There’s many different pieces of symbolism in this work, and to write them down would be too dry and illustrative to the viewers experience, but my hope is that there’s enough relatable and visceral triggers for there to be some sort of personal association with the piece.
There’s a lot more that I would love to talk about in person, such as the satirical melodramatics of Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” the ironic oversimplification that mockingly takes place while also enriching the dialogue, as well as color scheme, attendees, feedback and other shiz, you feel? Contact me if you want to talk more about it.
Lastly, lets acknowledge that no one had a gun placed to their head to be involved, the viewers were there willingly with varying levels of support and intrigue, and my mother was a true champion. Although she didn’t want to do it, she did it because I told her that It was important to me.
The following is a written intro to Tanner’s video piece and then the real deal is right after it. I would totes insert a smiley face right here if I knew how or even thought it looked cute.
I am attending therapy for a specific type of OCD.
I have lived my entire life in Utah.
My mother’s name is Paula.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day was released in 2004 when I was 10.
My friend independently created a Facebook event entitled “Watch Tanner Get Beat Up,”
and those present expressed interest in attending.
I am strong but not masculine enough.
4 minute video piece
If that one doesn’t work, try this one!
Duet with Mom 2.0
A small and quick update, ever since I’ve been going to therapy, things that once seemed insurmountable have become much more manageable and more of a non-issue.
I’d love for you to contact me with any questions or comments through my website ❤
Watch fullscreen and with audio, duh.