Now that Ive found you, this is all I want from you. Ive come a long way, baby, for this one thing. I want you, I want you to come in, I want you to lie down, I want you to hold me, just for a minute, just for you and just for me, just long enough to feel your breath on the back of my neck. The stars are out and the keys are in the ignition.
Rest Area (2007) is an invitation, a confession, an invocation of a familiar desire, a repetition of a familiar gesture. A one-to-one experience, it is a meditation on longing, comfort, and the melancholy eroticism of loneliness.
In the back of a stationary truck, the audience discover an unlikely bedchamber, where they are invited to relinquish into a stranger's embrace. In a moment of fleeting closeness, which is charged with the im/possibility of sexual contact, both audience member and performer become engaged in a meditation on a fundamental human desire: the necessity of intimate touch, to hold and be held in the arms of another. The audience and performance embrace silently for a period of fifteen minutes, during which time anything can happen.
A work of profound simplicity and continuing resonance, the artist has performed this work once a year, every year, for the better part of a decade. The guestbook, in which audiences are invited to share their reflections upon the work's conclusion, is an evolving document of the intimate histories of more than 1000 participants.
Norman's first solo work, Rest Area has become well known not only through performance but through its inclusion in We See Fireworks, a work by artist/curator Helen Cole, in which anonymous audience members offer recollections of their most memorable performance experiences.
This work has been presented at Performance Space, Forest Fringe at Edinburgh Festival, Brisbane International Festival, and Tiny Stadiums Festival, among others.