Faker, 2010 –
Faker presents a "living sculpture" who wears a suit and hat in the style of those worn by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935).
He squats on a buggy footrest and holds a white plaster mask, sculpted based on Pessoa's fictive description of one of his seventy-four literary alter-egos ("heteronyms"). He retains this pose for as long as possible.
Next to the character is a wooden suitcase, tilted and opened like a display case. On one side hang the masks of Pessoa’s three other main "heteronyms." On the other are a series of small, vellum booklets, each devoted to a particular character, project or theme relating to queers, forgers, fakers, imitators, masks, façades and displays, including JT Leroy, Elmyr de Hory, Tom Ripley, Stuart Sherman, David Wojnarowicz's Rimbaud in New York and Emily Roysdon’s reinterpretation.
Passersby can handle and even take away these books, though the exact terms of such transactions remain opaque, as the "living sculpture" never responds nor reacts. One is thus left to engage this stunted micro-economy as his or her ethics dictate.
This character is a traveling salesman, stocking bootlegged imagery of other fakers. His kin are sad sacks and tricksters, like David Hammons’s snowball salesman, Beckett’s Lucky, Chaplin, Cadere and Jacques Lecoq.
This character is a leech, appearing in museum lobbies and outside art fairs and institutions to crib credibility and tout his wares. Yet upon setting-up shop, he freezes in place: more or less a sculpture; a haunting; and a financial symptom.