SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

Exterior of Museum of Conceptual Art (MOCA), 86 3rd Street

Terry Fox, Push Wall (1970)

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AV: What would you see as your earliest body work?

TF: The Push Wall piece. It was like having a dialogue with the wall, exchanging energy with it. I pushed as hard as I could for about eight or nine minutes, until I was too tired to push anymore. I used to park my car every day in that alley and I always looked at those walls but never touched them. Then one day I touched one of the walls, felt its solidity, its belly. I realized we were both the same but we had had no dialogue, in a sense. We normally just walk by these things, not feeling connected to them.

AV: You could say that lot of new art is about looking at aspects of reality and realizing the unexpected energy they possess.

TF: Oh, sure. For me, in a performance, all the elements have exactly the same weight, including myself. Exactly. And dialogues can take place between them, psychically and physically. When I was pushing the wall, I felt it was somehow alive like a person. (Lippard 2001 [1973]: 214)