Outstanding exists as two separate yet intrinsically linked events: a site-specific performance and a single-channel video. In Manhattan’s midtown business district, Type A takes an extremely ordinary gesture and turns it into an absurd task of Sisyphean proportions. What becomes readily apparent over the course of this never-ending act is the shift in focus from the performers to the surrounding environment. People who pass by or stop and stare, cars with irrelevant signage and oppressive architecture all take on a more deliberate and meaningful role in contrast to the single, repetitive action. By introducing an innocuous constant, Type A brings critical focus to the seemingly random, surrounding activities.
Although repeating the handshake makes the gesture both mechanical and meaningless, the physical intimacy of the gesture becomes even more apparent. The close physical contact, the masturbatory motion, the “pressed flesh” are all stressed in a situation and environment that does its best to ignore those very qualities. In this, Type A continues to represent and comment upon the physical and sexual tensions lying just beneath the surface of most interactions between men.