My Body is Your Body is Everybody is Nobody
Performance 2: The Squeeze
Verb: to crush or press, to apply pressure, to thrust forcibly, to enclose, to merge
or come together
Intent (duration, pressure, & location)
Clasping, clutching, embracing, forcing, holding, hugging, pressing,
choking, compressing, jostling, nipping, pinching, squishing
Squeezing a body is all about exerting pressure from at least two points of contact
I envision a vise being used to hold an object in place, adjusted to the correct pressure to hold the object stable while force is exerted on it
Squeezing then becomes an act of stabilization as well as pressure
Why do we squeeze each other?
The most common form might be the hug. We wrap our arms around each other and an press our bodies together. We mutually squeeze, exert force on each other.
Studies have shown that long hugs are good for emotional wellbeing. Hugging a friend for thirty seconds can release endorphins and produce a feeling of calm. Our bodies need the exchange of pressure from those we feel affections toward.
Squeezing a body can serve many functions: We squeeze a shoulder to offer comfort, we squeeze a hand to offer connection. We squeeze an arm to stop movement. We squeeze the waist to convey sexual attraction.
Your intent when squeezing a body is not only informed by location but by method. Hugs use the whole body to squeeze. Most common squeezes utilize the whole hand. But to squeeze with two fingers is often referred to as a pinch.
We pinch people for all kinds of reasons: to alert them, to flirt, to baby them (think of all the grandparents and aunts who pinched your cheeks growing up) A pinch is a hyper-localized intensive squeeze.
How are you going to squeeze me and for what reason?
Will you start with a hug? Pressing your body around mine. Where will your points of pressure be? Will i feel in in your hands, your biceps? Will your torso touch mine? Your hips?
Will you squeeze my shoulders? My forearms?
Will you linger long enough to feel my muscles react under the weight of your pressure? Wait to feel a knot move out of the way allowing you to press deeper?
Will you go for soft tissue or where bone is closer to the surface?
What does it feel like to you to feel my body release into your pressure?
When was the last time you were squeezed? Hugged? Felt another body’s weight against yours? How did you react?
Is how you’re interacting with me informed by that action?
Are you trying to comfort me? Exert power? Exchange pressure for that endorphin release?
What will your squeeze say about you? Your relationship to me?
What is it that you are taking away from this connection?