Free Kisses for Allies
Free Kisses for Allies is a participatory performance that challenges passersby to take on the identity of an “ally” in order to receive a free kiss from an artist manning a makeshift kissing booth. The color of lipstick the artist applies to administer each kiss represents a certain marginalized group. Passersby choose their color with the express knowledge that they will be allying themselves to the color’s corresponding group. The kiss, typically an act of affection or love, transforms in this performance into a symbol of a transaction—the receipt of a staged and coerced moment of empathy.