Jenny Holzer, from her Survival series, 1983-85

Jenny Holzer, from her Survival series, 1983-85

 
 

CREATE TENDER SPACE

1.
Delineate a circle with a ribbon,
or chalk.

2.
Ask any participants who enter
if they would like the nurturance you can provide.
Brush someone’s hair.
Sing them a lullaby.
Hold their hand.
Have each act last no longer than three minutes.

3.
Remember that
by holding this tender space,
you are performing emotional labor.

4.
Think
about what it means
to perform emotional labor willingly
as opposed to
when one is bound
to patriarchal standards.
Think about what you can do
to convert emotional labor
into nurturance culture.

5.
Hand out instructions.
Pass on to the recipient of nurturance, so that they can create their own
tender space.

6.
Once you have finished,
destroy the circle.
Tender space is liminal
and cannot be held indefinitely.

 

 
 

Images by Ciel Laliberte.