performing cries of the orchestra
With my current solo running in the Long Gallery at the AVA Gallery (Cape Town), I did a performance piece on one of the walls on the opening night. It involved responding to music that was composed by the talented Filipe Sousa (UK) who in turn had created the piece based on a tracing of intersecting lines that I had previously sent to him. The tracing, again, was the documentation of all intersecting lines scratched onto a large canvas which reflected the audible cries of children separated from their parents at the Mexican border due to Trump's immigration policy in 2018. One could say that the 'lines of cries' had been interpreted and re-interpreted across disciplines, borders and continents. A collaboration across space and time in which Filipe Sousa has collaborated in before.
This was an emotional sound piece for me to draw as, over time, I feel that I have embodied these cries. As an Empath it is as though the cries - although heard through the medium of headphones - are in fact my own. To me there is little difference between hearing the cries of others and feeling it within myself. Also, it was the first time that a musician had formally created a dedicated composition in response to my work, although Filipe and I have worked together before during the 2018 OLOS Residency (Portugal).
For the performance I hung 18 POSCA pens from the ceiling which I drew with. Initially drawing with one pen in each hand at the start of Cries of the Orchestra I subsequently started drawing with multiple pens as the music progressed. At some point during the performance I realised that I was, in fact, playing the pens as one would a string instrument: 'plucking' the pens backwards and allowing them to connect with the wall surface to create their own mark making. I noted this as an interesting phenomenon to explore into the future.
At the end of the performance I snipped off most of the pens with a scissor and tied dried roots to the threads hanging from above. A deliberate and symbolic act which, for me, performs a tangible way in which we are able to connect with what I term the in-between ... in this context, the Spiritual.
The exhibition titled The In-Between runs until 26th of April 2018 at AVA Gallery.
Photo credit: @JemimaKola