wall of temptation - worldwide on-going participatory performance
600 participants in Marseille and New York
Is it more interesting to desire what you don't have or to stop desiring what you have? Is short term more gratifying than long term? Can YOU resist Temptation?
The first Wall was held in Marseille, in October 2013, commissioned by FING
The Wall of Temptation project is human fragility confronted to how the system locks us up in a vicious circle of desire and unsatisfaction. Temptation is explored in a performance where a scratchcard is given to participants. They experiment a conflict of interest: if they scratch, they might win a prize, but then they can’t participate in the whole experiment (only available if they don’t scratch), and if they don’t scratch, they will never know if they won anything. What they lose on the short term is compensated by what their gain on the long term: self-esteem, being part of a growing thought community, having the opportunity to write whatever critical thought they want on the ticket.
The second Wall was held in NY during Cutlog Art Fair, in May 2014, thanks to crowdfunding, curated by Emmanuelle Saint-Denis
exploring choice and reciprocity
The performance thus echoes Marcel Mauss's concept of gift exchange : when participants give back what they have been offered they choose reciprocity over temptation. By posting their scratchcard on the Wall, they share with the community and deepen social links.
This experiment reproduces, under laboratory conditions, the short term/long term dichotomy that defines all human choices. It gives us the opportunity to say "no", to make a different choice than the one made day by day, under our very powerless eyes, by the system. Moreover, some of the participants made me understand that they were using the Wall of Temptation as a redemption space.