artist statement

In my work, I look to make worlds where the body is important, where the body can be granted, where the body can make decisions, and spatially, have the care to persevere through vulnerability. These social sculptures are choreographed to reflect the daily lives of people, and are presented to women and poor people as tokens of gift giving. My work poses as a secular place for transformation to bring diverse groups of strangers together, and build a theology of mutation, light, and motion.

Tensions of civic imagination are at the architectural core of my recent pieces; I believe that to make the world a better place requires an act of Civic Imagination. My engagement with choreography also recalls Outsider art, a style that originated in the South to express geography isolation and self-taught skills. Uninhibited by the norms of traditional art, my hybrid practice is guided by a faith in personal vision. Aural and choreographic gestures are collectively woven through my work: a hum; walking slowly backward together; Movement Choirs that bring us closer together; listening as a form of healing. Knitting a tightly woven audienceship and creators, a beautiful and chaotic shared identity emerges. My intention is to indirectly point to our perceptions of what we are when we are alone vs. what we are when we are together, raising questions of our views of what family is.

I put real things--beautiful people, in real places--in tandem, and let them do their thing to generate a social situation that isn’t preoccupied with its own construction. In this way, my Choreography Mapping becomes a ceremony between nature and a moment. Drawing on what I've experienced as essential ingredients of family--adventure, nakedness, ritual and loss--I offer the public doors into alternate homes conceived of as interior events and exterior eruptions, positive and negative, without opposing context. In this outpour for others, value is reassigned. Bending, kneeling, stretching, squatting, these are small tasks and seemingly innocuous dance moves. But, there comes a moment when the tasks accumulate and they mean more than their parts. The results are powerful counter narratives of the Southern women’s bodies as capital, and my own value in reclaiming that narrative. This newly forged understanding of my own value, spatial value, the value of people working together, and the possibility of exponential value when live art’s generative potential meets empathetic power is the result of bodies rubbing up against each other.

Social performance belongs to a place and a people; relying on the transference from one body to another, it is a lost form of democracy. Encounter of the participants is unregulated. I don’t expect people to follow us for hours. I recognize the endurance ritual here. We touched each other for a moment. Through this endeavor for liberation I invite the public to become a collaborator, and family. My work is a rigorously crafted group experience that asks how far can we go together, in a world that feels like it's wrestling us apart.