If you’ve been to my GI studio you know: I don’t throw anything away! In fact, I actively seek out garbage and bring it home in the service of ART!, much to the chagrin of my partner and dog (don’t worry, those are two different beings). Being on Governors Island, we are blessedly free of litter, so I’ve often had to cart my Harlem pickings down on the subway, the subway again, the ferry, and then on that seemingly interminable (short) walk to Nolan Park #17. No, no, don’t cry for me, I will try to stay strong…
Having said all that, a performative and installation project I currently have underway, red hen[impossible standard, will be showing in Harlem for six month beginning in September 2017, and I need your discards! If you are planning to visit or live in Harlem or Governors Island (opposite ends of the earth, I know) and you happen to have any of those awful dry cleaners’ wire hangers, don’t throw them away! Bring them to me and I will give them a good home. The drop off point in Harlem is the JCC, 318 West 118th Street. And if you’d like to know more about red hen, read below*, or better yet, come visit…you can even visit the space in which I will be constructing the piece when you drop the hangers off. I’ll be building in situ.
Okay, that’s out of the way.
I am on the Island today. Quiet after a weekend of dueling spoken word artists, poets, writers and, mystics. The Poetry Festival was wonderful, but it is nice to have the place to myself again. Every day brings a new challenge to my over-full monkey mind…
Today I have so many plans, so many!, I was writing lists on my palm and wrist while sitting in my usual ferry spot, the coil of rope beneath the stairs (troll-like, yes, but allowing for quick de-ferrying). Of course, as so oft happens, I walk in and through some alchemy of mental wackiness, I wander aimlessly back and forth staring at unfinished work and berating myself. Do I return to the tern inspired headpiece I’ve been working on? Found object weaving for my residency installation and interventions? Bird feet? My exhaustive double exposure bird tarot? Or do I take on a new video piece that has been circling my consciousness? Clearly organization is NOT my strong point. I keep thinking of grabbing the bike and just speeding around the island until I’m sweaty and tangled and too tired to think.
The birds even seem subdued today.
I found trails of fuzzy feathers dropped like breadcrumbs leading me, the abandoned child, back to yellow house #17. I followed and wondered, what happened? Was there need of a quick getaway? Predator? Prey? Swift wind?
I imagine they collected together last night, a conference of the birds, if you will, for a debriefing after two solid days of amplified poetry. Things got heated. Laughing Gulls (and Herring Gulls too) tend, through a cruel twist of genetics, to seem derisive and sarcastic, even when they are sincere. The Herons, aloof, the murmurations of European Starlings overwhelming (and that accent!!). The Hawks can be far too aggressive, the Ducks and Robins noisy (the Geese didn't even show, thank god, because they never have any respect for the proceedings and end up pooping all over things, literally and figuratively), and the Crow as moderator, well she's too clever by half.
Things broke down. They had issues with style and the Heron found most of the work too derivative. The Starlings shouted that there is nothing new under the sun, which the Heron also found derivative. The Gulls cackled unwittingly, setting off the Hawks, who flexed their talons menacingly in clear violation of conference rules.
Aaaaand that's halftime folks. I must get to work on more physical pursuits. But there will be more, oh there will...