Project Description

Davis Freeman – 13 Kisses

One of ten scores created especially for the presidential election in the USA on November, the 3rd 2020.

For this score you will need a partner.
It could be a friend, husband, wife, lover, stranger or even an enemy
just as long as it’s someone you can kiss.

Through kissing we aim to heighten the sensitivity of our touch and feel how small variations can deeply affect your partner and yourself.
How one can also develop empathy towards different social and political contexts by reenacting and embodying some of famous kisses throughout time.

These 13 kisses are to be done consecutively with a certain amount of reflection in between each one.
But if you should get distracted and start to deeply explore another more advanced theme…
just come back another time and continue where you left off.

(For exploring the intimacy of a kiss, clean fresh breath is recommended while not absolutely necessary, this in part depends on the depth of the relationship with your partner. Use your own judgment.)

Warm up

A. Sit across from your partner and look into their eyes for 3 minutes without speaking.

B. Now stand together and kiss with the only contact being your lips.
No other parts of the body must touch

C. Now a kiss where Person A holds Person B in their arms.
Person B is passive except for the kiss.

D. Now a kiss where Person B holds Person A in their arms.
Person A is passive except for the kiss.

E. Now a kiss where person A and person B both hold each other in their arms.
No-one is passive.

F. A moment of reflection
(Notice how the kisses affected you.
How did it feel to be in more or less control?
Which stirred your emotions more or less?)


(Through out these reenactments always take time to pause and reflect with a conversation during your journey. Never go so far as to do anything you are uncomfortable with but be brave to push your own borders to see where you might appear in the end.)

1. Kissing the hand. A practice originated in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Spanish courts kissing the hand on one knee was considered courtesy and extreme politeness. In addition also a way of showing your subservience to another in greater power where if one would refuse, quite often that person would lose their head. Please choose who will be the kisser and who will give the hand and reenact a pledge of undeniable loyalty.

2. On November 22, 1968 the first inter-racial kiss was shown on television in Star Treks episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” that was between Capt. James T. Kirk and Lt. Nyota Uhura. Reenact the kiss deciding who will embody Kirk and who will embody Urura.
Please follow the reference point here.

3. Rodin’s “The Kiss” is marble sculpture created in 1889 that shows 13th-century Italian noblewoman Francesca da Rimini and her lover Paolo Malatesta, sharing a passionate kiss before there were both killed by da Rimini’s jealous husband.
Please choose your roles and try to approximate your position as close as possible.
Melt into each other.

4. Reenact the kiss between Soviet leader Brezhnev and East Germany President Honecker on Oct. 4, 1979, as they celebrated the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic.
It’s famously called a “socialist fraternal kiss” and was a unique form of greeting between statesmen of Communist countries.
Concretely it’s close to a French greeting of three kisses but more specifically on the mouth and it’s useful if you were to imagine you are very powerful old white men. You should decide which leader you will be and keep in mind your entire nation as you kiss. Please watch the video here and repeat the kiss three times.

5. The Judas Kiss or Death Kiss (Mafia kiss). This is a soft kiss on the cheek as an act of betrayal knowing that this person you kiss will soon be put to death after you leave.
Choose your roles and once you have given your kiss walk out of the room and wait for one minute.
(For a more heightened experience one should visualize the specific way this person will be put to death.
Crucified, Shot in the head, fire, torn apart by wild dogs.. etc…

6. Reenact the kiss of Pope John Paul 11 that upon arriving in any new county would kiss the ground as a mark of love for the country and its people.
(You may of course clean the spot you kiss on the floor of your apartment and both may participate.
This is not a wet kiss.)

7. Objects are fetishized more than ever from our phones to exclusive designer bags but none greater the objects sport stars crave the most.
We’ve seen World Cup Champions kiss their trophy and endless Olympic stars kiss their gold medals.
Separately choose one object from your household to make sacred and give it a long kiss as if nothing else mattered.

8. Please reenact the famous Madonna / Britney Spears (pre-meltdown) kiss.
One must choose which pop star they’ll portray and must use tongue.

9. The kiss from Gone With The Wind with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh made them even bigger stars than they already were.
Choose your roles and have some fun, but remember it’s a Hollywood Kiss, lots of passion NO tongue.
Repeat two times switching roles.

10. Annie Leibovitz took the infamous photograph of Yoko One and John Lennon for the cover of Rolling Stone just a few hours before his assassination.
Please choose who will be the dressed Yoko and whom will be the naked John kissing her cheek.
You can set up a camera with a timer to capture the moment for your own personal archives.

11. Using the tools of your imagination, give the last kiss to your partner as they transition out of this program/ world/ lifetime.
(Best to imagine ones partner as having just turned 100 years old and are very ready to move on.
Choose your roles.
One lays down in the bedroom with their eyes closed and breathing very softly.
The other comes in and gives the kiss that releases their hold onto this earth and walks back out.

12. Imagine you’ve had a long relationship but now you both know it’s over.
One of you is leaving the room/ the house/ their life forever.
Maybe you had just made love for the last time the night before and now you’re giving back the keys and saying goodbye for one last time.
This is a goodbye kiss.
Decide who is staying and who is leaving that gives the kiss and walks out of the apartment and stays outside for three minutes.

13. Thanks for participating and I hope you enjoyed the score, here’s the final one.
Come together and kiss for an indefinite amount of time.
This in turn is a tribute to the incredible Ekkachai Tiranarat and Laksana Tiranarat, a Thai couple that entered the Guinness Book of Records with a record breaking kiss of 58 hours 35 minutes and 58 seconds in Pattaya, Thailand, in February 12,13 14, 2013!
(You may come back to this kiss of course at any time.)

Davis Freeman
Nanterre, (France)
November 3rd 2020

Commissioned by PACT Zollverein
and 1000 Scores