“Exodus: Sequel to Migration Patterns During Wartime” is a continued exploration of two other video and performance projects currently in development to be completed this year and screened at Justice Works in San Antonio and the Red Victorian in San Francisco. The completion of this final part will make the video project a trilogy, which I envision being screened as a projection onto canvas in storefronts in three different cities for a week.
This series explores ideas of otherness and belongingness as they relate to sexuality, race, gender and class. The action and performance used for the first part of the video is influenced by Inuit Whaling practices. The costume used for the second and final parts of the video is inspired by those used in rituals and ceremonies throughout the African Diaspora and the overall narrative of the work loosely investigates how policies surrounding Mexican/ US border issues affect individuals and communities.
By looking at these three different groups and their specific experiences I aim to highlight the similarities of their historical experiences as related to their relationship with land. Furthermore by investigating these seemingly disparate groups my hope is that questions about the concept of difference will arise.
The first part of this video series, “Ritual Cuttings/ Creation Myth” was created in August and is currently in post-production (though a rough cut has been made). The second part of the series is scheduled to shoot the first weekend in November. For this segment all twelve performers will start at the Mercado in San Antonio while inside the costume and then split into four parts. Each part will travel separately to Austin, where they will re-unite on the grass of the Capital building to have a picnic. These first two video segments will be completed by December 1st.
The last segment of the film, ”Exodus…” will shoot during the third week in March in and around Big Bend National Park. For this segment the four groups will travel as nomads throughout the park and Boquillos Mexico, a town greatly affected by the new border policies instituted after 9/11. The shooting is intentionally scheduled during one of the parks busiest months so that the creature and its performance will have the opportunity to interact with into park visitors, employees and Mexican residents.
In “Exodus…” the group will wander throughout this territory, trying to get clearer about what exactly they are seeking. They will investigate the space, trying to find land that suits their needs, and try to understand exactly what resources they need to have met by their environment. Inevitably they will be pushed out of certain spaces and forced to question the value of their nomadic lifestyle.
“Exodus…” will be in post-production until mid April and when completed will be exhibited as a video projection in storefronts in New York, Texas and Mexico in neighborhoods traditionally underserved by arts organizations. The exact location of these screenings has yet to be determined but will be finalized no later than May 1st. The video will be projected onto canvas from inside the stores and seen through the street windows by passersby. The videos will be projected in all three cities for one week at night from 8pm-10:30 pm local time.
For the first two nights of the projection in each city will be assigned a specific segment of the trilogy so that, for example, New York will only watch the first part of the film on loop, and Mexico will only watch the second. The third and fourth nights will show the segment originally assigned to that city and then fragments of the videos show at the other two cities. On the fifth night the cities will show their original segment and one other and on the sixth and seventh the whole video in its entirety.
Bill Cunnigham New York
Krista Thompson, “A Sidelong Glance: The Practice of African Diaspora Art History in the United States,” Art Journal (Fall 2011): 6-31.
“Forum: Performance, Live or Dead,” Art Journal (Fall 2011): 32-58.
Chapter from Cherise Smith, Enacting Others: Politics of Identity in Eleanor Antin, Nikki S. Lee, Adrian Piper, and Anna Deavere Smith
Michael Omi & Howard Winant,Racial Formation in the United States: from the 1960s to the 1990s
Homi Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse,” October 28 (Spring 1984): 125-133