Repentance 2014 

Clip from 6 minute video

I have made a hard sugar candy in the shape of a gun. I then try to eat the sugar gun, but can’t. The gun is a dark red color so as I eat it saliva the color of blood drips out of my mouth. This video reenacts suicide by using something that is perceived as sweet. Four years ago someone close to me committed suicide and then my brother tried, twice, but failed. There is a tension when dealing with trauma and sometimes I try to make things sweet or ok, but some moments cannot be made sweet. Even sugar can be made sour. The gun is an object that holds weight and by making it out of pure sugar I am trying to make that symbol be something else. The sugar gun is still a gun. I try to eat it and destroy the image of the gun. When I try to eat the gun I am reenacting the action that weights the gun in a personal traumatic history embedding the symbol back into the trauma. There is tension in the fact that I keep trying to eat the gun even though it hurts. The gun is too sweet, it is too much and I become sick from the sweetness. This failure pushes the idea that I will continue to fail at changing this object and the power of the symbol.

Impacted 2013

Impacted is a performance piece in which I take a bar of soap and scrub where my heart is until the bar of soap is gone. The documentation is through video to capture the endurance and time. This piece uses an everyday activity of washing and shows how the small wearing away and scrubbing done all at once will cause harm and pain. This metaphor is used as a way to talk about physical and emotional abuse. If someone hurts us a little everyday it tends to roll off our back and we ignore it. What if it were to happen all at once? We would be able to see the permanent damage that was inflicted.

Reminisce 2013

The audio in “Reminisce” is the subject trying to sing a song but fails to, reenacting a moment shared with another. The video speaks about loss and remembering, a song that is trying to fill in for someone who is gone.

Swimming Lessen 2014

Swimming Lesson deals with a personal past trauma that is difficult for to talk about. The only way to speak about it is through a self-imposed baptismal action. Through the gesture I try to talk about the trauma under water but the viewer/listener cannot understand me. It is also hard to speak under water just as it is hard to speak about personal trauma. The piece consists of a video in which the viewer becomes part of the baptism from the framing and closeness. One video is an underwater shot in which the camera is under the water with me as I try to speak. The images consist of bubbles escaping from my mouth and the water my hair moving and floating in the water as in and out of the water. I have to come up for air and it is impossible to completely finish the story. Which is why another video exists that shows me coming up for air and calming and preparing myself before I go under again, trying to complete the story. The sound of the video is muffled and distorted words that are unclear to the audience. Even though I tell the story and try to release it, the world can never hear it.

Re(torn) 2013 Video Installation, video and dress form with grandmother's dress

The dress in the performance was not left to me. As my parents were dividing the house up during their divorce I found it and kept it without asking. My siblings were given objects that belonged to my grandmother but my father chose to keep and take away her possessions from me. I knew he would keep it from me if I asked for it so I took it.

I took something that was never meant to be mine and by trying to fit into it I destroy it. I do not know if I want it to fit or not because it was never meant for me. This dress is a metaphor for my relationship with my grandmother. I wanted for a long time for her to see me and to be what she wanted me to be but I failed at fitting into her ideals and image. Even after we moved across the country I still tried to make her see me. I wrote letters to her every week. It was not after her death that I was released from her expectations and my need to fit.

I no longer want to fit into the dress or what it means to fit into it. I also was no longer afraid to claim the relic of my grandmothers past. I put on and remove the dress until it rips to the center seam and is no longer wearable. The video is shot with my body being off center and cut off the frame and at an upward angle.

When the video is shown I project the video onto a dress form set to approximately my measurements with the dress on it. This puts the action back onto the object and animates the object. My face and arms fall outside the frame of the dress form and silhouette is created, an image of the form that is forever still.