everything depends upon sound
upon deep listening
i can hear an entire world through Monica’s vibrant forms
hand-shaped porcelain & terracotta
with never knowing
with violent imaginings & feral grief
hundreds of cross-like bodies
closed inside a dark hot kiln.
listen, do you hear the stars? the ocean?
do you hear the bones sing?
your own bones echoing in response
we return from the harshness of the desert
stars gaze at us through transparent air
we shed & release old materials
taken from even further north
we screen projections
thawing ice & cold, blue water
we, uninvited guests
aural recollections of an experimental soundscape:
porcelain and terracotta shards
– tinkling, rubbing against each other, clamorous
a wild, bracing wind
the pause made of silence
gas burners turned too high
heart monitor flat-lining
wind chimes chiming
mixed with excerpts from songs composed and performed by
Elaine Radigue (Triptych Part 1, 1978)
Chris Derksen (Winter Bourne, 2015)
Cecilia García Gracia (Desarme Final, 2007)
sand, steel & ice
a 50 kilo black canvas bag of sand is suspended from a metal structure by a rope. the bottom of the bag is 7 feet from the ground. the bag of sand is punctured. sand flows from a small hole onto a large block of ice for theduration of our performance.
i am deeply moved by the creation of this sculpture by workers in the south. we communicated by email, providing a complicated request with a simple description. Chileans working at the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral gathered all of the materials and constructed the sculpture for us, for our performance. a profound gift from strangers.
we are one vibrant creature bound by twine and bubble wrap. we are still and burrowing, our long, flamingo-pink necks outstretched into the depths of time, sifting through mud for nourishment, through the tears for the ocean.
we gaze, look, watch. intuit each shared movement.
unfurl r e l e a s e spin
time is e t e r n a l
(we haven’t rehearsed this together in its entirety
& now we are performing on an international stage)
how long must we orbit alone?
one particular story lives deep within me from Nostalgia for the Light.
a story about the Chacabuco concentration camp. an abandoned nitrate mine and camp from the 19th century. Pinochet surrounded it with barbed wire and landmines.
Luis Henrique, a survivor from the camp tells of a small group who were led by a doctor who knew something about the stars. he taught them astronomy during the day and how to identify constellations at night. they built a simple device to track the constellations as they moved across the dark, clear sky.
they all had a tremendous feeling of freedom while studying the cosmos together.
the military disallowed the lessons, believing the prisoners might be able to escape the camp using their hand-drawn maps of the stars.
wrapped in black and glitter
eyes gazing through silver goggles
they travel a vast distance
this word in two languages
blown apart into letters cut-out from black fabric
hand-sewn onto the projection cloth
cloth becoming screen with image
a site of projection
dramatic tension, ripping conflict
CONSTELACIONES was very nearly pulled apart
she claims space in the performance circle with her comrades
she gathered this crew, each of them
understanding something about poor & working class
she clasps at a small bubble wrap sack
affixed with black tape to her bare skin
it rests on her breasts, at her lungs
an image of her father: plastic hose at his nostrils
eyes closed, skin tired and pale
she digs claws into the sack releasing
sand from the desert
from her father’s lungs
everyday he straddled the conveyor belt
welded onto the back of his sand&gravel truck
the wooden handle of his shovel grasped with both hands,
digging down, digging out hardened chunks of sand
lodged into corners of the big steel box
she remembers the women of Calama
searching for their dead
sifting through the desert sands with small shovels
each one of her comrades releases something in turn.
Inca Coya Laguna outside of Chiu Chiu
a mysterious, asymmetrical, oval shaped laguna
they say it’s bottomless
with arsenic, copper, and cadmium
mining minerals from the El Salado river.
this is peculiar: living in these watery depths, a large number of rotifers, heavy metal resistant microorganisms.
if you picked up the earth with your bare hand, turned it upside down and emptied this unusual crater of water and rotifers you would be standing on the dark side of the moon. you would be held there by the gravity of it
—there isn’t a way to reach
to the bottom of the grief
for those who will never be found—
A hand written note: “Estamos bien en el refugio, los 33.”
a more recent history. 33 miners trapped underground in the San Jose gold&copper mine just outside of Copiapo in the Northern Atacama Desert. The mine collapsed, they were held underground for 69 days. A gigantic rock sealed them there. a miner said: “That’s not a rock that’s the heart of the mountain, she finally broke.”
these comrades, we
orbit with class histories
propel our bodies into memory
spin with irreconcilable, unknowable
labour for art, for our lives.
we stand on, draw from
psychic terrain & radical histories
Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral
built by the socialist government of Allende
seized by the Pinochet regime
seized back again
by the people
and yet again
by the people, this site of community and culture
(still the military stands above and yet, we stand here)
we stand here with your poems!
none of us alone!
this fierce, persistent wind, this desire to be and hold everything
the cold lake, heavy with ice & snow
the sky above the Canadian prairies, above the Atacama desert
the stone of the Andes
time holds each one of us
in our complexities&intensities
holds what we’ve carried in our bodies through generations
hearts seize tight and open,
backs stiffen with the immense weight
holding, a generational performance