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“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
For Immediate Release 11-21-11
Migration Patterns During Wartime: A Free Video Installation and Performance
by award-winning artist Christina Sukhgian Houle
San Antonio/San Marcos/Austin, Texas –Called “haunting” and “fascinating” by the Austin Chronicle, video and performance artist Christina Sukhgian Houle will exhibit her most recent video work Migration Patterns During Wartime, a video about migration, “otherness,” and the search for belongingness. This duration performance and the resulting film explore the issue of "otherness" as it relates to gender, sexuality, and race in Texas, and the United States.
The FREE exhibits will run:
December 1-2, Justice Works, 113-1 Blue Star San Antonio, TX (reception and performance both days from 6-10 pm);
December 12-16, Joann Cole Mitte Gallery, TSU, 233 West Sessom, San Marcos, TX (reception and display of costume at 1 pm on 12/12).
Austin showings are by appointment only beginning 12/17.
Along with the screening, Houle will display one of her self-made unique sculptural costumes used in the film. The video features performances by Adam Sultan of Mistress Stephanie and her Melodic Cat, Matt Hislope of Rubber Repertory, Jordan Moser of Ballet Austin, choreographer Lindsay Robinson and emerging performance artists Megan McGinnis and Suzi Gonzalez.
Six performers, dressed in sculptural costumes made primarily out of toy stuffed animal pelts, travel from San Antonio to Austin in the course of one day in four separate groups. Each group uses a different mode of transportation, one hitchhiking, one being smuggled in a car, another on a bus, and the last one walks. All of the groups intend to reunite at the Capital building before continuing onto a party to celebrate the completion of their journey, only not everyone makes it…
Migration documents both the perspective of the “creature/outsider,” as it tries to migrate to Austin, and the perspective of unsuspecting onlookers who happen upon the performance. The film demonstrates how everyone feels like an outsider at some point in their lives, and investigates how both the outsider and the “receiver” handle their circumstances and the resulting consequences. Do we always actively seek out a new place of belonging and/or family? And why do we often let fear rule us when someone “different” comes along?
Christina Sukhgian Houle has studied and performed comedic improvisation at The Second City (IL), been named by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Top Ten Dance Phenomena of 2008, worked with Creative Time (NY), and has been a visiting artist at Spelman College (GA). Her duration performance, “16 Conversations with Escape Bird,” was streamed to the Antena Gallery (IL). In 2012, Christina will present at the 222 Lodge Extern in the Netherlands. More information about Houle and her work can be seen at her website www.christinasukhgianhoule.weebly.com.
Show Website: http://tinyurl.com/Migration-Patterns
Contact: Christina Houle, 210.323.7492, email@example.com
Friends please help me raise money to pay the talented cast and crew I am working with for my upcoming project Migration Patterns During Wartime.
Some documentation of Incantations of Help is up for viewing under Videos and Installation.
Nick Cave Sound Suits
Freeman and Lowe
The Extra Man
Dialectic of Sex
This Bridge Called My Back
Burkina Faso costume and dance
This performance video project will use imagery from African costumes for the construction of its primary sculpture, the narrative of Mexican family immigration for its story and Native American influence of pow wows and rituals for its mythology to draw parallels between the different cultures and their place in United States history. Furthermore, performers will allow drag queen and transgender perfromativity to influence their embodiment of the character.
The execution of this project will begin with the construction of a costume that will house between 12 and 20 people for a duration performance, which will be documented with video and super 8 film. The costume will be made of Mylar and stuffed animal pelts and parts of it will have a skeletal interior. The costume will have the ability to break into four parts while still housing the performers inside of each part.
The duration performance will begin in San Antonio at the Mercado downtown with all parts of the costume intact and the performers inside. The costume will then split into its four parts and each part will travel separately to the capital building in Austin. The segments of the costume will all use different modes of transportation to make the journey and all parts will be documented with a camera so that each segment has its personal documenter. Three days later the participants, or those who are able to make the journey, will meet up on the capital steps in Austin.
Following their meet up the performers will participate in a 24-hour ritual celebration of their transition and transformation. This event will take place at night in a rural setting. It will be celebrator and, as with Ritual Cuttings will be influenced by Native American ceremonies. The final product that I present will be a three part single channel video which will begin with Ritual Cuttings, then show the journey and reunion of the animal parts and conclude with the celebratory ceremony.
Excerpts from a new project I worked on in San Francisco featuring Richie Israel, Lubomier Minkov and Yusuf.
Also you can check out my collaboration with Skippy Cooper here: