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Leave No Trace (NS 000)

2019
5-channel HD video, color, sound; 28 min. Installation includes: 48 x 48 x 85.3 inch projection cube, faux skull, used tires and ratchet straps.

Installation of Leave No Trace at Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf.

Leave No Trace (2019), explores the demarcation of space and its effect on bodies. The potential of the void or ‘negative space’ is articulated against acts of construction and the grid as an organizing principle. Confronted with imposing boundaries, the performers work to illude the totalizing effects of standardized time and space. The video is a 5-channel work projected onto the five visible sides of a cube. The cube is propped up on a human skull, a morbid nod to its use in the video to simultaneously represent presence and negation.

A solitary arch made of stacked speakers stands in the middle of an empty stage, shadows are cast across the floor as theater lights are used simulate a sundial, to experience “felt time” as opposed to mechanized time. Cut to a land-locked trailer where skulls are gathered into an Ikea bag from otherwise empty kitchen cabinets. These remains of a human body are toted across the desert and later used as part of a foundation for a collectively built platform. Leave No Trace juxtaposes immaterial forces and what I call the “non-event” sites of a theater, like the battens and theater grid, with desert sprawl. A group gathers on the site of a demolished building repurposing refuse to construct a new space, one without walls, that will serve as a stage for movement and a tepid protest tableau. The platform borders a military base demarcated by barbwire and threatening signage. Suited in Chelsea Manning’s military jacket a performer trespasses. Meanwhile vocalist Shannon Funchess traverses a web-like theater grid and sings a song conjuring a macabre narrative of technologically altered beings. Returning to the stage we find a critical homage to Félix Gonzélez-Torres 1991 conceptual performance piece Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform)—reinterpreting desire through a non-binary body. The closing recitation is a text I wrote about the borderless sensation and impotence of anthropocentricity as experienced within the desert. The work is scored by Geo Wyeth.

Installation of Leave No Trace at Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf.

Installation of Leave No Trace at Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf.

Install view of tires used as seating at Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, a solitary arch made of stacked speakers stands in the middle of an empty stage, shadows are cast across the floor as theater lights are used simulate a sundial.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, a detail of the speaker arch, in a scene in which the viewer experience “felt time” as opposed to mechanized time.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, in a trailer in the desert the kitchen cabinets are full of nothing but skulls.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, performers push and pull a tank of water across the desert similar to the one seen in Living Room (2017).

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, performers clear the refuse from a demolished building found in the desert.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, back in the theater—while the clean up in the desert ensues—the ‘void’ is vacuumed.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, detail of vacuuming.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, after the demolished building is cleared the old foundation is used to assemble a platform.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, the skulls culled from the cabinets are used to prop up the platform (or stage), and the expired body becomes a substructure.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, a performer lounges on a makeshift couch in a makeshift living room with a murky water tank that echoes scenes from Living Room (2017).

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, in which performers assemble in protest tableau, they seem to be more invested in the image than the action.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, Mx. Manning dressed in her military jacket examines a barbwire fence demarcating a military base before trespassing.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, a web-like theater grid.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, a performer smokes and sings an a-cappella version of Cerrone ‘Supernature.’

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, a re-staging of  Félix Gonzélez-Torres performance piece Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform).

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, performer dances in silence to headphones on the recently constructed platform.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, Mx. Manning recites a text about the border-less sensation of being in the vastness of the desert, from under the wheel well of the trailer.

Still from Leave No Trace, 2019, performer rests on theater batons before vertically ascending series of laborious pull-ups.

 

VIEW FULL VIDEO: Leave No Trace, 2019