Secrets Gifted from the Trees
An original performance art piece (performed in the courtyard outside of the gallery and perhaps, with carefully crafted elements that go into the gallery proper) as either (Option One) a solo piece, or (Option Two) a piece that is created in a workshop with students from El Camino College (a knowingly more complicated endeavor, but one I hope to discuss with you more in person).
As a performance artist with both a deep appreciation for the potentials of the craft and occasional misgivings for some inherent aspects of the genre, I like to create performances that resonate with audiences on meaningful, entertaining, and archetypal levels.
In my past I have created several performances with trees and the natural world as a theme. You can see a sample of one such work, which was made during “Arboretum” the tree-themed evening of performance art works under the artistic direction of Rachel Rosenthal in 2006. She had us read the book “White Goddess” by Robert Graves as partial research. I also used an esoteric indigenous ritual to connect with the Spirit of the Tree to create the performance. The ritual involves visiting a tree three times and offering up meditative prayers to connect with the Spirit Keeper of the Trees. On the second visit, an offering is made to the tree, and on the third visit a gift is asked in return – which can come in various methods – in this case inspiration for the performance.
I created “ASH – Axis Mundi” to reflect the combination of research and ritual process, telling a “story” about growth, moving from childhood to adult, of gaining knowledge (handed down in the form of the branch – a power totem of the Tree Spirit and at the end of the piece, a seed, which is not planted in the ground, but inside the body for the spirit of the tree to grow inside). I choreographed a dance that reflected humanities use of trees in several ways while projecting images of hands caressing the bark of various trees. I invite you to watch that performance now, as a sample of what is possible to create for El Camino.
Additionally, I invite you to read a blog review of my most recent work “Temptations in Fairyland” at Lancaster’s Museum of Art & History. I created a piece based on the artist Leonard Greco’s exhibition. At his request I used the 19th Century novel by Gustave Flaubert “The Temptation of St. Anthony” inspiration for a performance, as it was a basis for the exhibition. I related the story to the history of performance art, delivering a fun thrill-ride of a history lesson, in which the lustful demons and wild visions that haunted St. Anthony during the night are instead pulled from the strange and unusual pantheon of performance art realm.
SECRETS GIFTED FROM THE TREES
A New Solo Piece: A mixture of spoken word and dance that emerges out of ancient stories, myths, and esoteric practices that deal with human relationships with the trees, specifically tied into the overall themes at play in the exhibition. The performance would develop out of conversation and dialogue with you, as the curator and the various works within the show.
The props and costumes, as well as the photographic and video documentation become artifacts of the live performance that could then have some relationship to the exhibition that extends beyond the performance.
Workshop & Performance: This knowingly requires much more coordination and effort on an administrative level, but I know such programs are sometimes already possible. I would lead a workshop based on my background and training, as well as my experience directing and training various individuals and groups in quick, short workshop manners over short periods of time. We would spend the course going over some of the basics of performance art and exploring different methods of communicating the participants visions and relation to the tree theme. We would also create props and costumes during the workshop that would be used in performance, similar to how I have constructed them for most of my work.
I look forward to talking to you about both possibilities. With much appreciation,