#77 – Woman Five

spider_web_topanga

Materials of varying thickness, texture and transparency spread in concentric rings across the floor and pool up in all four corners of the room.

Encircled in this web of fabric, her seated body makes circular motions from her hips.

Her body is hidden, pinned in place, yet she tests this limitation by repeatedly reaching for the farthest edges of her skirt.

Breath becomes labored.

Fingers straighten and bend in attempt to hook the distant hem.

Suddenly, she has come undone and with momentum rolls across the tiers of fabric which wrap around her once, twice, again and again as she spirals and gasps.

Cocooned, like a fly spun to death by a spider,

she has encased herself in a cushioned shell with no air.

Advertisements

#76 – Woman Four

orangecurtain2

She is a scarlet tornado whirling through a burnt orange curtain –

a body in permanent motion.

She is skittish and jerky.

Sparking electric.

Her choppy, anxious twitches make angles with a sharpness that defies the human body.

To stop would be to end, disintegrate, blow away on the hot

dry Santa Ana winds.

#75 – Woman Three

fabrics

Her wallpapered room is a forest of tangled vines with tiny flowers of turquoise blue, plum and deep emerald green.  These braided forms are large and the eye can’t help but follow the sinuous lines up and down the long wall.

She stands against this landscape in a floral skirt with flowers that are flat and ordinary of mustard yellow and shocking green hues. Tiny repetitive flowers in umber and terra cotta tones dance across her cotton blouse.

She has wound a scarf of puffy pink roses around her thin neck. Even her baggy stockings display a shower of violets cascading down her legs.

She is trying to camouflage herself in these false woods.

She is not appropriate. She is not collected.

She is dissonance.

#74 – Woman Two

pink and grn woman2She is inside of a pink and green room where flowers and birds in the patterned wallpaper whisper to her.

She wears white.

She is low on her belly moving gently along the floor.

She slithers under the furniture, pauses and allows herself to be distracted.

She has pulled herself into herself.

She is flat on her back.

She listens to a voice telling her terrible things about herself.

She is writhing around on the ground.

She is under the table hiding from the dialogue unraveling inside of her.

She is shedding her skin.

#73 – Woman One

11yellow_chairs copy

The woman wears pale blue and arranges eleven yellow chairs in an empty room with dingy white walls and dark brown carpet.

With physical effort she assembles the chairs in even rows for an unknown audience.

Next, she carefully organizes each seat into a perfect circle, awaiting a group discussion where no voices will be heard.

The eleven yellow chairs are positioned in two rows, back to back, as if readying for a game that will not be played.

Arranged and rearranged, the placement of the chairs is continually managed but the seats are never occupied.

It is a labor of necessary order. Each futile endeavor is a design for a possible interaction that will never transpire.

 

#72 – Hoops

backbend.jpg

   Here’s a hoop. Please jump through.

Are you beside her?
Are you inside or outside of her?
She needs to be sure in order to get this exactly right – perfected.

     Here’s another hoop. Please jump through.
     Keep trying.
(even though it doesn’t matter)

Where should she look now?

     Too visible. (please cover up)
     Keep trying.
(even though it doesn’t mean anything)

       (Imagine this insidious tape as it is replayed over and over)

Can she do something more?
Where should she look now?
    
Here’s another hoop. Jump through it.

     Not visible enough.
     Here’s another hoop. Jump through it.

She is going inside to hide for a minute.
(maybe longer)
Don’t worry.
She’ll be back and the cycle will repeat,
just for you.

 

 

 

 

 

#71 – Seeing patterns

floral_chair

“I didn’t realize for a long time what the thing was that showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman.

By daylight she is subdued, quiet.  I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still.  It is so puzzling.  It keeps me quiet by the hour.

The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out.

And she is all the time trying to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern – it strangles so;”

(from The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman)

#70 – Fragments

Rockhaven_chair

In toxic air from fires burning just over the ridge, we slowly moved through the abandoned buildings at Rockhaven Sanitarium where women treated women with “mild nervous disorders and mental illness” beginning in 1923.

There’s an odd beauty – pops of bright orange and pale pink with teal green surprise. Floral patterns of varied design and scale reflect another time. Sunny yellow tiles remain in perfect condition while walls and ceilings have broken open and collapsed onto soiled carpets. Dirty water that once pooled inside from the outside is now a dusty stain on the floor. Most rooms are jam-packed with hospital beds, a visual reminder that this was an institution.

Family photos, handwritten notes and id tags, a yearbook, a walking cane and clothes. Fragments of a once embodied space seem carefully arranged for someone no longer there.

Who lay in these beds, stared up at these ceilings? Who moved through these rose colored hallways?

#69 – Fire and Rain

landscape1

As Houston drowns in unprecedented rainfall, LA burns in a fire that is the largest in city history. On Wednesday, in Northridge, it was 115 degrees.  Heat like the end of the world with no escape.

A mysterious image suggests the smallest bit of beauty, respite.

A salmon colored paper covered with a thin sheen is punctured with a cluster of tiny pinholes – a map of the desert (a way out?), a set of confused constellations tangled in a ball, burning embers floating above a smoky horizon.

It creases and drapes at the corner like an edge of fabric from another time.

This page sits off-center atop a field of glowing lavender. At the periphery it blooms with irregular stains. Dark and watery, spreading across the space.

#68 – gratitude

gratitude

I always walk before a performance to calm myself, begin to get into my body, attempt to free my head and center in on the work.

As I walked yesterday, I thought about:
breathing
embodying space
light and color
pacing energy
the texture and sound of materials
engaging other bodies in space
staying slow.

I came upon a young man collecting plastic bottles.  He was pushing a shopping cart overflowing with materials for his survival – reinforcing my good fortune, my privilege, to have space for rumination.