Target Assault performance/installation
@ DUMBO Arts Festival 2007
Target Assault, a visual assault on a potential terrorist target, the Manhattan Bridge, by a weaponless naked figure. While debate continues in Washington D.C. as to what constitutes a potential target, confused by vested interests fighting over money allocations, New Yorkers understand that their bridges are more than landmarks, more than transportation infrastructures; they are functional icons of the integration of communities; physical and conceptual connectors that are precious and more of a potential for damage to the city than any Washington D.C. crony could ever imagine.
That said, no matter how much money could be allocated to protect specific sites, it is impossible to imagine all possibilities... a culture of war and isolationism is the real threat. Inclusiveness and community building, globally, like the New York model of connected communities IS where the solution lies.
Target Assault shows a nude figure, devoid of all potential harm, climbing the structure, traversing a portion and returning to the ground. It is a projected image, further offering no potential harm to the structure, leaving no trace, yet presenting a powerful image of intervention, of interaction between the most basic human form and the structure. A strange hybrid of tactical assault and embrace, emphasized by the use of the V.R.A.G. (Video Remix Artillery Gun), a projection device used in previous DUMBO festivals and Drive-By performances, that mimics the form and ability of an artillery gun, to throw video in multiple directions and change content on the fly...

Set up on the street, like any terrorist could do at any time with a real weapon, shooting up to the underbelly of the bridge and to the footings, demonstrates the futility of trying to protect the structure and still keep it in service... the structure is vulnerable because it should be, as any connection between communities, between peoples is vulnerable. The only way to protect it from all possibilities is to isolate it and not use it. Just like we can protect the conceptual connections through building community, so can we protect the structures through global community building.

© Gearóid Dolan, 2008. All rights reserved