I did a performance piece yesterday for a crit. The props/sculptures were originally created for a video (which I still plan to make), but a critique space opened up and I really wanted to get some of these things worked out.
I ended up desaturating my entire studio in order to create a sort of sepia tone. In the back of my mind I have been really wanting to create a space from the photographs I was taking last year with the light behind the magazine page.
The themes I was cycling around are cleansing, absence, surrealism and wonder. The lack of color and branding…etc in the studio pushed the nostalgic mood and the idea of absence. There were loose symbols floating around the studio. A rope extending to the ceiling. Screws and holes in the walls where things had been. The floor was even textured by hand as was the chalkboard and some of the windows.
I’m interested in the way the suds come from a dark space beneath the floor. There was actually quite a bit of labor involved in getting them to come through. Once they are through the grow vertically and touch my face. According to Roland Barthes “Mythologies” (in the book refer to p. 36, in the pdf it’s p. 19) suds are luxurious and can be a sign of spirituality as the spirit has the “reputation for being able to make something out of nothing.” Something clicked for me when I realized my drawings were about systems and cycles. Things go in and things come out. Things pile up and get put away. It is exactly what has been ingrained in me from church my entire life. Sin and forgiveness–the ongoing cycle. In some ways it seems like that is what life is about!
It’s not evident in the photo’s or the video, but I entered and exited for the performance in a way that sort of formed a loop (in one side and out the other). It was the most criticized part of the performance. It seemed sort of “default” I guess. There is still room to explore these methods–and luckily doing a video allows me to edit this part out completely!
Documentation during the live performance (not the video piece):
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