May 6, 2000

A Needle in a Hay Stack (2000)

• Installation : Galerie Sans Nom, Moncton, NB, 2000
• Performances : Sackville, NB, Scoudouc, NB, Charlottown, PEI, 2000


A Needle in a Hay Stack is based on the following two premises:

1. In French to say to have hay in the boots means to have a lot of money. The word boots (bottes) also refers to a stack as in haystack

2. To look for a needle in a haystack is to look for something impossible to find.

My intention is to use the search for the needle to represent a search for money, as a search for few minutes of reprieve in the endless task of making a living. Of course, that is the way the game is designed, some people have to work much longer hours just get by. I want to question the degree of ease or difficulty to find that something. (The needle and the hay serve as references for money or wealth). I also want to question the value of that something, its degree of reality and its degree of truth. I have been working on individual and collaborative projects based on the Economy for the last 10 years. What attracted me to that theme was how much it was grounded in the reality, of everyday life, in its fantasies and in its tragedies. The Economy is the thing that interconnects us all. Economy is a mirror of the world and like birds, many of us are fooled by the reflection. Many of us are asking who is the most beautiful. In this case the needle is found inside the stack etched on a mirror, allowing people to see themselves in the Economy. Money is never a problem but always a solution and so on.

As a performance artist I see a lot of similarity between the theme of Economy and my personal performance art practice. Both are embedded in the real world and deal with pragmatism and imagination. It is my desire to be involved in projects that share this idea of being in the world. In the Needle in the Hay Stack, I give myself the stage name: Dannylonglegs, which is a blend of the Daddy Long Leg spider; my first name; and the spider/web type of project that this is. I decided to dress as a new mutant of our age: half businessman, half scarecrow. The front of my three-piece suit is the businessman and the back being is the scarecrow. My task is to ask people if they have seen the Needle. An encounter would go like this:

Dannylonglegs: Hello, my name is dannylonglegs.
Passerby: Hello dannylonglegs.
Dannylonglegs:I am looking for a needle.
Passerby: A needle?
Dannylonglegs: Yes, a needle in a hay stack.
Passerby: Oh, I understand.
Dannylonglegs: It has one eye, one leg and it is hiding. If you see it, I could use your help.

I went to the Scarecrow Festival in Harrisville, NB; to the Confederation Center in Charlottetown, PEI; to hayfields in Scoudouc and in downtown Moncton, NB. The costume gave me the freedom to be different and to ask questions. It allowed me to approach people and to interact with them without being mistaken for an aggressor. After all everybody knows the legendary friendliness of the half business man, half scarecrow character. At the limit of entertainment, this type of performance resembles the TRUNK© experience: Ask questions, Get answer and Enjoy the ride. I have seen the good sense of humor and if the needle is sometime hard to find, it is surely the ability to laugh and to hope that it has to be found one day, which makes most of us endure a little bit more a little bit longer.

PS. I suffer from hay fever. Actually I suffer from conceptual hay fewer, hay do not seems to be involve in my attacks, what I fear is rag weed. But nobody says rag weed fever. My allergies are considered severe and I subscribe to Reactine, Claratine, Allegra D and Etc to stop the river of mucus running from my head. It starts in mid-august and lasts until the first big frost. To play in hayfields dress with costume made of hay is, if not a victory over my allergies, some kind of personal victory.

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Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel H. Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son treizième recueil de poésie « émoji, etc. » / « emoji, etc. » vient de paraître aux Éditions Basic Bruegel.

Daniel H. Dugas is a poet, musician, and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico, and Australia. His thirteenth book of poetry, 'émoji, etc.' / 'emoji, etc.' has been published by the Éditions Basic Bruegel Editions.

Date : Mars / March 2022
Genre : Poésie / Poetry
Français / English

émoji, etc. / emoji, etc.

Date: Mai / May 2022
Genre: Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry




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