Installation view of Living Room at ICA Philadelphia.
Living Room is the second episode in Negative Space. This episode is focused around exploring dueling notions of the body as both an exploited and agential resource. It is a two-channel video filmed within the interior of a building. Shot in a series of found and constructed interiors, the video treats the entire building as both a stage and metaphorical organism. The work is divided among four sites within the building: living room (psyche), stairwell (mouth to anus), bathroom (kidneys), and basement (uterus). The building exists as a hermetic ecosystem in the narrative of Living Room, wherein performers play various bodies–celestial, political, metaphysical, animal–working to co-subsist. This video features a unique soundtrack by Geo Wyeth and choreography by NIC Kay.
The left channel of Living Room is projected onto a wall with partially exposed studs; the right channel is projected onto a propped piece of unused drywall. By exposing the substructure of the walls, the installation makes the site of the exhibition explicit as a constructed space. On the floor is a soiled carpet left over from a scene within the video. The work is installed among sculptural objects that augment and animate its narrative, including A Skeleton Reclining, 2017 (a gutted couch outfitted with under-glow) and Corporeal Soil, 2017 (casts of bags made from dirt).
Still from Living Room, in which Make Make cares for a pet fish in a fantastical living room (also referred to as ‘the psyche’).
Still from Living Room, Pluto play-acts, embodying a bird of prey.
Still from Living Room, Eris swats at the voices in the room.
Still from Living Room, Ms. Manning in the stairwell (traversing ‘mouth to anus’ within the building).
Still from Living Room, in which Ms. Manning descends the stairwell carrying an ever increasing load of trash.
Still from Living Room, Patient Patient and Marat engage in self care and banter while suffering from socio-political illnesses in the bathroom (the ‘kidney’ of the building).
Still from Living Room, Patient Patient and Marat discuss the slippage between language and meaning.
Still from Living Room, in this scene—a revisioning of J-L Davids’ Death of Marat—Marat succumbs to economic toxicity and dies with a bloody nose.
Still from Living Room
Still from Living Room
Still from Living Room, Ms. Manning wrestles with a trashed couch and other discarded materials as she descends the stairwell.
Still from Living Room, a Pregnant Backpacker bears the weight of accumulated trash as she descends the stairwell.
Still from Living Room, at the bottom of the stairs a Pregnant Backpacker drags a ravaged piece of couch into the basement.
Still from Living Room, dancers wear headlamps as the only source of illumination in the basement of the building (otherwise known as the ‘uterus’).
Still from Living Room, dancers move in and out of synchronicity.
Still from Living Room, choreographed movements rearrange the language scrawled on the dancers’ shirts (HER, AGAIN, OR BUST and NO).
In a still from Living Room, a spider feasts on a cockroach.