Kissing II


May 2008

Funded by Arts Council England, “Kissing II” involved nine couples emerging, grouped in close formation according to a prearranged plan, kissing for ten minutes, and then dispersing.

Where: The Hyde Park Picture House cinema, Leeds Bus Station, Ilkley Moor and public Squares in Leeds. Leeds 4th - 24th May 2008

"Kissing II was a striking intervention on a rainy May afternoon in Leeds' Briggate shopping precinct. Like a collection of living Rodins they proceeded to kiss each other with varying degrees of animation. An older couple stood almost frozen. A very tall man and his much shorter partner were quite vigorous in their slightly awkward, stooped kiss. A gay male couple kissed and held each other, somehow protected by the group from the continuing social taboos against displays of same sex affection. The grouped spectacle stopped shoppers in their tracks, prompting laughter, curiosity, appreciation, as well as some confusion (“is it some kind of competition?” I overheard one passer-by ask).
For a brief period on a Saturday afternoon, everyday consumer life was interrupted by tenderness.”

Prof. Stephen Bottoms - Drama & Theatre Studies Leeds University