Performance artist Oakley Boycott will perform a three-day-long endurance art performance piece entitled ECHO.
ECHO is an endurance art piece that aims to provide a collaborative narrative in understanding a communities relationship to mental health. Endurance art is a performance that focuses on the passage of time and involves some kind of difficult process or situation without giving way.
“The choice of endurance art is a direct reflection of how I experience my own relationship with my mental health manifested into an art form,” Boycott said. “Given the lengths of endurance we as human beings maneuver every day in relation to our mental health, choosing endurance art as a medium for ECHO was a natural path to take.”
The inspiration for ECHO was Ovid’s Metamorphosis which tells the story of Echo and Narcisuss, a tale that explores the boundaries between love and obsession.
“Originally, when detailing the formatting of ECHO, the working title was ‘NARCISSUS,’ after the man who fell in love with his reflection and ultimately dies because he cares for nothing else,” Boycott said. “I have an incessant fear of being an undiagnosed narcissist which ultimately has a huge impact on my mental health. Because of this, I wanted to create a piece that would incite a conversation about community, our relationship to mental health, and how we show up for one another and ourselves; what it means to see, be seen and take all of whats inside of us and let it out.”
Eventually, the themes of this piece grew beyond’ NARCISSUS’ into ‘ECHO’ because what will physically manifest on-site are echo chambers, where both artist and participants will be reflected back to one another.
“ECHO creates an experience for individuals to potentially see themselves in another person,” Boycott said.
ECHO will take place over three days. For 8 hours a day, Boycott will be seated inside an
open-air transparent chamber along the Sinks Canyon Trail with no breaks and limited
The chamber consists of three mirrored sides. The front-facing side of the chamber will be a two-way mirror, letting the artist reflect back to themselves. On the opposite side of the two-way mirror, another darkened chamber is built so that those who choose to participate by entering the darkened room can see Boycott, but Boycott cannot see who is on the other side. The only way for the audience and artist to engage with each other is if the participant exits the darkened chamber to stand behind the artist and connect via their respective reflections.
“The piece is meant to expose people to a level of transparency so that individuals involved can feel at ease to be completely open and vulnerable with each other,” Boycott said.
On the exterior walls of the mirrored chambers, participating audience members will be
encouraged to document what they see or experience during the performance in relation to their mental health.
“Whatever is written on the walls will be encouraged with no filter,” said Boycott. “Both positive and negative words, drawings, and experiences are welcome and encouraged.”
ECHO will take place September 22-24 from 10am-6pm on the Sinks Canyon Trail in Sinks
Canyon. ECHO is free and open to the public. Audience members may come as long as they
want or need. Any donations received will go to an EDMR treatment fund for young people in the Fremont County community affected by trauma.
ECHO is made possible by the Wyoming Arts Council ARPA Grant and will be a part of the
Lander Art Center’s Mental Health Exhibition in 2023. This project supports the ongoing
development of a mental health-focused collaborative community mural with AtLAS (At Lander Arts and Sciences).
For more information, visit www.boycotttheproduction.com/echo