The performance

The performance is made of self-selecting participants who make an advance purchase of a ring containing a gemstone that has been ethically sourced from an area of the world where sex trafficking is common. All rings are then delivered to the exhibiting gallery. At the exhibition, buyers and other guests gather to observe the rings undergoing an electroforming process as a communal, ritual act within the gallery space. This involves collectively immersing the rings into a conductive copper solution and then hand painting over the copper plating with liquid silver. The process takes a few hours to complete.

Each stone becomes hidden and inaccessible to the light. This creates the ‘aesthetic fast’ as each ring owner commits to wearing the gem with the silver covering until slavery and sexual exploitation have been abolished in the area from which the gem has been sourced (or until other smaller goals have been met).[1] At present, we're focused on abolitionist work in India and Cambodia led by International Justice Mission.

At the point if or when abolition is achieved in that area (or until certain legislative frameworks are in place, or other related goals met) the wearer would have the electroforming process reversed to reveal the undamaged gem hidden beneath. In the meantime, the ring owners form part of an ongoing and expanding collaborative performance enacted in wearing the rings. They are not simply art buyers, but become part of the performance themselves.  

[1] For example, once a certain number of the estimated number of people enslaved in that area have been freed.