SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

Exterior-facing window displays, J.C. Penney Building, 901 Market Street, now Westfield Center

Rachel Webber, Windows (10am-5pm, 25th January 1979)



The piece took place inside the display windows of the J.C. Penny building, downtown San Francisco, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The audience was anyone who happened to be walking by on the street.

I painted the windows black on the inside. About seven people came on the day of the performance to participate. I instructed them to stand very close to the inside of the windows. I began to scrape away the paint which revealed certain parts of their bodies on the the outside of the windows. Behind them on the walls of the display area, I projected slides I had taken previously at the windows of people walking by on the street, among other slides I had taken. A San Francisco synthesizer band called the Units were simultaneously playing their music which helped illustrate and enhance the mood of the action. As the day progressed, more paint was scraped away and more of what was behind the glass was revealed to the public. The piece ended when there was no more paint on the windows. (Webber 1979)