Bystander was a live performance created for Coalesce ARI’s Ascend/Descend Exhibition in a Melbourne suburban home.
The work was developed from research into bystander theory/effect.
” Bystander effect or apathy is a situation in which a person in need of help and there is a group of bystanders none of whom intervene. It is both a social and psychological phenomenon (Melissa Burkley 4/11/2009) “
Gaby stands in the centre of a room, blindfolded with hands tied behind her back , wearing a neon sign reading’ HELP!’. Every time someone speaks about helping or touches Gaby she falls to the ground and then slowly rises again. The performance was for the duration of forty-five minutes.
Gaby improvises within the set structure and responds to audience engagement. For example, a vicious prod created a sudden dramatic collapse, a gentle blow created a soft melt into the floor.