MRPJ #22/Ownership: Editors’ Notes


Editors: Sarah Michelson, Tere O’Connor, Julie Atlas Muz

Protect what’s yours till you’re tired and crying.

I have given you my heart motherfucker

I think the high heel will save me and so I covet it

I am scarcity’s child

A have not forever


Ivanka Trump orders 6000 bras every six months

What has she got

Protect what’s yours until you’re tired and crying

–Sarah Michelson

I would like to thank Sarah Michelson for her ultra-organized, utterly creative and extra-concise, ass-whipping, natural, editorial capabilities. Is that a run-on sentence Sarah? I am so impressed!!!!! When she asked me to co-edit a journal on ownership, I held a very myopic perspective on the theme. Having sacrificed standard material wealth to afford myself a career as a dance artist in the United States, I have been somewhat obsessed with the relatively safe financial state of my peers.

These are people who I love, in other areas of work, with whom I share commensurate career accomplishments. However we do not share the same level of nummular remuneration (I do own a dictionary and a thesaurus!) Through my tear-filled eyes, I couldn’t see past my own empty bank account and paltry crust of bread. So I assumed most of the articles would deal with “artist as pauper.” I have never edited anything before, and I was surprised at how the submissions received redefined and opened up my point of view. To hear larger discussions of how ownership falls into the realm of aesthetics, management and artistic invention, among other things, took me out of my trip.

Not that larger issues are lost on me; it is just that I am elderly and greatly concerned with issues like: Can I afford a gay nursing home? Can I clean houses for money at 80 and still use my respirator? Should I sell that teapot of my aunt’s, and for the love of Pete what will I spend that twenty bucks on? Cremation is expensive, so could I ask one of my successful friends to burn my body in the fireplace up at the country house?

So I was thankful to be delivered from my obsession by the diverse ways in which people wrote. As always, this community of brave heroes has helped me gain a new excitement and allowed me to return to that spiritual thought from my youth—money can’t buy happiness.

But god damn it. It could buy me a building like that one Mike Morris is getting. Or that one uptown for Donnie Parsons. Enjoy!

–Tere O’Connor

For a while, The Vavavoom room, where I often perform was on Wednesdays, as we like to call them, Cunty Wednesdays. A dear friend of mine walked in and said to me “Hi, oh your eyes look like my eyes.” This inflamed me to say, “No, your eyes are like mine.” This started to build until the mistress of the house blurted “Yeah, like they haven’t been putting glitter on their eyes in LA for years.”

I get held up at gunpoint they say the same thing “This is a hold up.” It’s a line from a movie, but each of the four times I’ve had a gun held to my head that is what the muggers say. It’s an announcement of the trade, your unharmed body for your wallet, your ID, your keys, your bank card. Ever try accessing your account without proof of your identity? They don’t do DNA scans in banks yet. (I wonder how much that would cost.)

In utopian future worlds where people live on star ships there is no money, no property, no debt. How did this evolve? Will we have to go through a phase where bar codes were inscripted on the back of our skulls and are scanned whenever we need something? When can we get computer chips in our brains? I want one.

There apparently is an angel in heaven that gives you back all the things you’ve lost. Aside from a mountain of pens, sunglasses and my virginity, what could he have?

–Julie Atlas Muz

Filed under:


MRPJ Project, ownership


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Tere O'Connor

Tere O’Connor is the Artistic Director of Tere O’Connor Dance and a Center for Advanced Studies Professor at the University of Illinois. He has created over 40 works for his company and many commissio...
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Sarah Michelson

Sarah Michelson is a choreographer living and working in NYC. She has been a guest curator at The Kitchen since 2003 which has included a deep ongoing commitment to the DAP program. She is basically a...
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