One Year and Twenty-Four Days of Fishing

Socially Engaged Performance Art, 2010-11

I carried a fishing rod and wore rubber boots everywhere, everyday for over a year.

One Year and Twenty Four Days of Fishing by Katie Kehoe
photo documentation by Peter O’Neill

My aim was to embrace the absurd to engage the everyday.

The project was primarily documented through journaling, which involved my writing down notes recalling the interactions I had with people. The number of interactions I had changed over time – the longer I continued with the project, the more people approached me.

The fishing rod was the catalyst that prompted spontaneous reactions from people, more often than not random strangers, who asked where I was fishing and what I was fishing for. When people approached me, many did so with a sense of familiarity and said things like, “I’ve seen you four or five times now with that fishing rod… where are you fishing?” To which I always answered by saying where I was going and what I was going to do – such as, “I’m going to the Save-A-Lot to pick up some groceries.” Often conversations that began with the fishing rod ended hours later, building a sense of connectedness between strangers.

Alternatively, there were occasions I was denied access to select establishments and made to feel unwelcome in various social situations. More often than not, I was denied access when the fishing rod was perceived a potential weapon or the combination of my boots and fishing rod did not meet specified dress code requirements.

Photographic Documentation by Peter O’Neill