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(Don't) Use Me

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An exercise in radical spectacle, her 2022 performance (Don’t) Use Me, was the culmination of the artist’s qualitative examination of time through the lens of Black women’s labor. Due to the racial and gender pay gaps, Black women are typically paid 63 cents for every dollar paid to white men. It takes about eight months into the next calendar year for a Black woman to earn what a white man earns in 365 days. To reclaim and further quantify this lost time, Breon invited Black women to respond to the following question: What would you do with eight extra months of paid time?

During a performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, she wore these responses and invited the public to read Black women’s reclamations of time aloud. After the performance, self-portraits inspired by each worn response were sold via blockchain. Survey participants were included as co-creators in the permanent digital ledger; as a result, they continue to be paid in perpetuity as the digital art sells.

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