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These are my thoughts:

Thank you everyone for coming to the second installment for Make A Space for Me. Sincerely all of your time and energy brought so much love and light and means so much to me. There were wonderful and generative performances by Wit López, Princess Harmony, Minnow Future, and a tender and smally theatrical video by Olive B. Godlee/Sylvester. There were a lot of different ideas of the future, personhood as performance, and discussion of institutionally. The safety of trans, non-binary, and gnc artists and audiences is the reason why I started this space. With that in mind, I wanted to extend a sincere apology on my part as a facilitator for folks that were harmed or felt unsafe or endangered by Little Weiner’s performance.

The artist did not inform me of the extent of the touching that would take place. I was told that some people may be touched, and that if they did not wish to be accidentally touched they should stay in the back of the audience. As you know these guidelines were not followed and the warning did not cover what actually took place. The artist told me the information that would have been more accurate was that “everyone in the space will be touched and they can leave if they feel discomfort”. I would have had a more extensive conversation with them about the work at that point, and thought of different, less ableist ways of avoiding touch. I would have created more restrictions for them, like a more clear zone of not touching, and a egress out of the space, and I would have made an announcement about that before-had had I received the proper information. To be honest, if I had known about that aspect of the piece I don't think I would have shown it at all. I had no knowledge that people’s boundaries and desire not to be touched would not be respected, or that it would go for as long as it did. Much less that some folks in the audience would be touched inappropriately. The discussion we had at the end of the night with the artists and audience brought forth a lot of learning, clarity, and closure. Several members of the audience spoke about how the performances affected them and we spent a lot of time on Little Weiner’s piece. They were able to talk about with them that it felt wrong that they felt pursued to be touched with no route for escape and that although the work was about sexual assault it seemed to replicate the experience of feeling unsafe intentionally for the work. And that this replication was irresponsible and dangerous to the safety of audience, Little Weiner took in all of those thoughts so generously given and is going to work on them in their practice.

Little and I have discussed it and we both agree that Make a Space for Me was not the proper venue for that piece as it was presented. They have never performed for a mostly trans and queer audience before and characterize their usual audience as cis, het, and more hostile. I don’t think that it’s necessary to make folks feel unsafe for work to push conceptual boundaries, and I will continue to curate with that in mind as well as step up, and be firm with artists about the trigger warning policy. There are lots of things I take in as a curator and facilitator that help me grow. I am always listening, and I appreciate those of you that have spoken to me about any and all things. I think I will now be able to recognize when a work is no longer serving the ideology and integrity of the space and be able to stop it, should it come to that again.

I feel that I want you to know that the Me in Make a Space for Me is really an Us.
Last night the space we have been working on to build was tested in many ways, I had to ask someone to leave for the first time, and folks boundaries were pushed by an inappropriate performance. As a space we had a serious dialogue about consent and performance art. I feel grateful and proud that everyone who spoke was able to, and folks who just stayed and listened were able to as well. I have never been a part of a conversation so generous, honest, or necessary following a work, and I think that that is a large testament to your brilliance and the space we are working on building.

Thank you, I love you, I hope you are doing well today, I hope you come back.

Little Weiner's apology:

Dear everyone who attended Lane's Make a Space for Me,
I am writing to express my sincere apologies to everyone whose boundaries were crossed during my performance. And also wanted to thank everyone who gave me the gift of your honest feedback; many artists don't get the opportunity to hear negative feedback from viewers, and it's so important because it gives us the opportunity to grow and learn from our mistakes.
I make work that involves intervention, institutional critique and often pushes boundaries in an aggressive way. That said, there are ways to approach art intervention and interactivity that are generative, and there are ways that are harmful. To anyone who did not want to be touched during the performance and did not feel as though you were able to leave the space, I am sorry for crossing your boundaries. It was an error in judgement on my part not to have a verbal warning at the beginning of my performance about what would ensue. The space of warmth and safety that Lane has worked so hard to cultivate is extremely important, and my performance was not the proper venue for what they have created.
Performance artists, especially interactive performance artists, must be extremely intentional when considering the impact that their performance may have on others. In this instance, I did not cultivate my performance in a responsible fashion.
I will definitely continue to think heavily on all of the feedback so generously imparted on me. If anyone has anything else they wish to say to me, you can reach me here or at lauraweinerart@gmail.com