Part of the show, Body Matters, curated by Holly Gore at the Art, Design, & Architecture Museum, at University of California, Santa Barbara.
Latex, steel, bronze.
Return to the Blob
My background as a competitive gymnast and a dancer is rooted in rigidity. These new photographs are my attempt to unlearn the toe point by peeling off the layer of rigidity, a layer that seeps deep into my muscles, my fascia, my bones. Returning to the blob is not a comfortable experience. I am trained to have clean lines from my toe through my hips to finger tip. To be a crumpled pile of flesh and nails goes against what I know. It's an act of rebellion. I rebel in hopes of finding a neutral resting place for my joints. A place where I feel strong, not overworked, fluid, but not overstretched.
The fabric aided in achieving this fluidity. It allowed my body to hide in ambiguity. I enjoy that the viewer might need a few moments to realize which way is up. They must use their imagination to fill in the blanks or take the shapes at face value. Maybe see them as flat or sculptural instead of a body that provides the structure for the billowing pink silk.
Risk Verses Thrill
I come from a world of ponytail-facelifts, wedgies, and glitter hairspray, where chalk is the remedy for callouses ripped open, and athletic tape holds most of the team together. Gymnastics is synonymous with who I am. It’s how I stand out; it’s how I am remembered; it’s my identity. However, I am not able to continue with the sport that is my home; my aging body won’t allow it.
I re-home this athleticism to a place that still houses danger, the need for physical strength and ritual. In the metal shop, I negotiate the relationship between the memories encased in my muscles and ligaments by placing these temporal feelings within my steel and latex sculptures. They live in the ephemeral twists and stretch of the rubber tubing, and will eventually decay.
In this site-specific installation and performance, we revert back to our rambunctious, childlike selves; our animalistic selves, our wild side. It’s about reminding our bodies what it feels like to play -unlearning the toe point and relearning the crawl.
It’s about the ever-present fear of paralysis. It’s about hypothesizing about our body’s limitations and constantly testing these. It’s about bravery. It’s about thinking that we know our body’s limitations and proving ourselves wrong. It’s about kids these days. It’s about acknowledging the over-safe nature in our culture and pushing back because what’s the point of living if you only ever read about it?
It’s about the risk verses the thrill.
Steel, latex, projected video, liability waivers.
Movers: Emily Baker, Nancy Scherich, Timothy Wood
Cast bronze knee replacements, black walnut, canvas ribbon.