Civic performance: oral testimony, c-print photographs, video with sound


McCallum & Tarry

Still from the video

Endurance is a civic performance that was created with twenty-six young people living on the streets of Seattle. The performance was then turned into a video that compresses the 25-hour action into a two-hour recording. In the DVD soundtrack, the youth share eloquent accounts of their experiences of drug dependency, difficult childhoods and street crimes.

Each person stood motionless on a Seattle public sidewalk for an hour -a significant act of endurance for youth who face drug addiction, attention deficit disorders, and drug-related health issues. But these young people dedicated their participation to the memory of friends, who died from life on the streets, and hence, ’stood for’ those individuals who were absent. The performance was also a quiet act of civil disobedience because standing motionless in public is defined as a crime, according to Seattle's Civility Laws.

In the DVD soundtrack, the pictured youth explain eloquently and often heartbreakingly their experiences with drug dependency, difficult childhoods and street crimes. Stark frontal portraits of the teenagers taken a few minutes before their performance redefine the notion of a film still. These images are both unflattering and seductive with rich detail and color saturation. The tough poses of the youth mask both their fear and their vulnerability.

Project Website


McCallum Tarry: Intersections

, Buffalo, NY


McCallum and Tarry

Nichido Contemporary Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan



Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ



  • 2004

    • Tina Potterf, “Strife, Addiction, Hope, "Endurance,", The Seattle Times, February 7, 2004
  • 2003

    • Louis Jacobson, “Civic Endurance, Washington City Paper, November 3, 2003
    • Franklin Sirmans, “The Spirit of Endurance, Civic Endurance, exh. cat., Conner Contemporary Art, August 1, 2003
  • Acknowledgements

    Special thanks to the project participants Stacy, David, Wicked, Fish, T-Bone, Della Rose, Bill, James, Tony, Frank, Billy, Frost, Nicole, Jaclyn, Gimp, Jarred, Mike, Momma Sara, Janaea, Johnny, Raven, Maria, Vanessa, Richard, Jessica; and Kim, for their collaboration, and to Tiffany, Laura, Filth, Dirty, Elita, Bugg, Melissa, Elaine, and Rooster for their support. 

    The artists also give thanks to Roy Wilson, Brendan Reed, Mark Luttrell, Studio 62 (Andrei Kalour, Matthew McGuinness and Morgan Sheasby), the Beijing Jinglida Image Picture Technology Group, Jack Straw Productions, and 911 Media Center for their amazing design and production support.

    Endurance was made possible by the generous support of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, City of Seattle, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

    Organization sponsorship was provided by ConjunctionArts, Peace on the Streets by Kids on the Streets (PSKS) and the Allied Arts Foundation of Seattle.