A Kiss for Luck

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Duration: 152 hours
July 24 - August 11


Perfomance Description

For 19 consecutive days, James Leonard worked from 10am - 6pm in a street-level gallery space to carve away a 13 ft. wooden boat. Pedestrians watched Leonard work, until all that was left was a sea of shavings beneath him. This destructive action was performed, in-part, as a reaction to the epic Arctic ice melt of 2012—the worst the world had experienced in 60,000 years.

Manhattan performance space provided by ChaShaMa, produced in partnership with Open Source Gallery.

DNA Info

Woman with black umbrella watches as James Leonard carves away boat in A Kiss For Luck artwork 2013. Photo credit Wendy Whitesell.

A Kiss for Luck: Artifacts

Ephemera, ready for collector's installation

A Kiss for Luck: Reliquaries

Vintage mason jar containing wooden shavings

Each jar is filled with collected boat shavings from Leonard’s A Kiss for Luck performance.

A Kiss for Luck: Timelapse

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Duration 15:00

Time lapse documentation of A Kiss For Luck, originally performed in a Manhattan gallery July 23-August 11, 2013. Over the course of three weeks, James Leonard manually eroded a wooden boat into a sea of shavings. The video compresses the entire process into 15 minutes.

During repeated intervals, the artist  can be seen in  rocking motion at the front of the boat. This is Leonard in the act of sharpening his set of 7 carving knives; each knife lost approximately 1.5” of steel over the course of the performance.