23 May, 2008

Thinking of Things

My review of Frances Trombly at David Castillo Gallery:

15 May, 2008

Untitled Performance (Box)

In this performance, Rae Scanlon and I sit in 2’x 2’x 3’ Plexiglas boxes for three hours, stationed at various locations. The experience involves physical endurance and fluctuating psychological exercise. Within our respective boxes, we are cut off from the outside world. The box imposes a vacuum of self-awareness within which its inhabitant reckons with the immediacy of time and space.

This performance taps into the social disenfranchisement of women and the idealization of sexual stereotypes. We are empowered by willingly assuming detachment and controlling the atmosphere of the enclosure. This action mirrors the universal need for space within an escalating world population. It functions metaphorically to depict the uncoupling of the individual—living amongst the globalized reality of the post-Information Revolution.

This piece has been performed three times in Miami, Florida.

Untitled Performance (Carving)

This work was inspired by Rineke Dijkstra’s portraits of postnatal mothers. I projected onto my body an ultrasound image of myself in my mother’s womb during the third trimester of her pregnancy. Subsequently, Francisca Twiggs carved the fetal image onto my abdomen using an etching needle. She wore a folkloric Mexican wedding dress—a symbol of fertility.

In this performance, the body is the subject and functions as a human canvas. The act of carving into the skin probes the social and biological impositions of motherhood, the physical effects of childbirth, and the cyclical nature of life. This piece aims to participate in the discourse over reproductive rights and posits reproduction from a relativistic perspective—as a lifestyle choice.

This piece was performed on Wednesday, 30 April 2008.

Untitled Performance (Cart)

For this performance, I acquired an abandoned shopping cart and filled it with approximately two-hundred pounds of dead weight (in the form of large stones and twenty-five pound sandbags procured from a construction site). At noon, alongside the heat and exhaust of the causeway, I pushed the cart from one end of the Biscayne Bay bridge to the other—and back. Finally, I abandoned the cart as I’d found it and recycled the other accessories. This was my first venture into deliberate public performance amid a random audience.

Adopting an abandoned cart as an accessory triggers the familiarity of social associations. Because their functionality befits a nomadic lifestyle, shopping carts have become associated with the poor socio-economic class. This performance alludes to the myth of Sisyphus as a metaphor for the futility of mortal life. Consumerism is immersed in futile activity, and the shopping cart is an icon of consumerism. For my purposes, it mimics the nihilistic experience of carrying dead weight to-and-from arbitrary points.

This piece was performed on Saturday, 10 February 2008.