Yellow Fish Festival


On August 30th, 2018 I will be performing a reiteration of Stay For Tea— my cumulative BFA project regarding the germination period after my exodus from my slavic christian community. Stay For Tea 2017 sketched through film, installation and book. I utilized the deconstructed conventions of the documentary genre— “story” and “evidence”— to help myself articulate the experience. How do you show the inciting incident of an intergenerational trauma? How can one perspective make a statement that would prove the shameful wrong actions that get swept under the rug? I don’t have that kind of power or documentation, and yet — the fading images, the carefully penned sermon notes of a child, the memories that made my knees jerk away — are evidence that my body holds, that you can see. They won’t hold up in court or make their way to a podium; but they do take over dreams, come out in between my words, and resonate when I show them.


A-ROLL (“STORY”): In 2017, I invited several people over for tea — friends and family, many of whom I hadn’t seen in the formative years of distance. Most declined under the circumstances. The accepted guests agreed to be anonymously videotaped or audio recorded as we reconnected. Each dear friend offered distinct insight about this passage of time and revealed their own observations of our shared experience from the past. These recording were projected onto seats in a temporary installation, set up as a living room, arranged as a seance of these intimate tea dates.


B-ROLL (“EVIDENCE”) During the course of immersing myself into the painful recollection of sweet memories and harrowing experiences, I articulated my ongoing recovery through the language of the arts— action painting, re-contextualized archival video, chemical processing of photographs, reconstruction of memories through task-based performances, and artifacts. I spent much of those years under water. I’ve washed so many floors on my bent wrists and knees. I’ve layered thousands of coats of paint until each fabric became stiff as a floor. From solid to liquid, from solid to liquid, from solid to liquid until I was further away. This pain is a spiral, not a line. Each layer — a rotation around this mass I’ve collected.


In 2017, I created an immersive installation in an evocative domestic space/black box theater where I exhibited this collection through multi-channel projections and objects. As part of the Yellow Fish Durational Performance Art Festival, I will be revisiting this time and work at the Northwest Film Forum Main Theater on August 30th, 2018 between Noon-6pm. At this time, I will be reinserting my body into the work. What you will see is Stay For Tea converged into one channel, projected downward onto an oval screen. I will be working on top of the oval canvas, preparing the platform in gradient layers and interacting with the film. Several of the ritualistic tasks from Stay For Tea will be carried out on that platform during this time.


You are invited to attend this session for any time during those 6 hours. This will be an opportunity to reflect on how we accumulate the heuristic time and labor we invest into our distress. An artist talk will follow from 7-8pm in an adjacent room at the Film Forum. Other works in the festival will be taking place that day and throughout the week, which you are welcome and encouraged to attend. Day passes to the festival including my piece are on a pay what you can scale.

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