Installation and interactive performance.
'A Light in the Basement', Stanhope Cellar Studios
Brooklyn NY. April 1
In 2010 I wore Red for a year. The year I moved back to Brooklyn from California.
In the 'Red Room', people would enter the space. All was Red. Red clothes. Skin was Red, except for white leaf shapes on our cheeks and forehead. The walls were covered in the clothing and blankets acquired in a year of Red.
Visitors interacted with me and my two Red assistants to my left and right. Silence, facial expressions and a language of musical sounds is how we spoke with each other and guests to the Red Room. Red seemed to naturally shed language.
Upon entering the Red Room, guests would see three Red women, staring back at them. Checking back at their own bodies constantly, to see that they remained exactly the same. Not red in any way. Without the use of words, the guest was invited to put their hands in my Red hands. Red everywhere all around. There was another self behind the language of chit chat, judging this, measuring that, this and that, of liking and not liking, liking, not liking. Red seemed to naturally shed language. Another self emerged. Visitors laughed, cried and expressed themselves in all sorts of surprising ways. During a lull in visitors, one woman found herself alone with us there and asked, “do you mind?” and whipped her shirt off, shook out her hair. She felt so free and wild there. Each person was so different from the next. Many wept.
After time with me, the guest would move along to my Red helpers who painted white leaf shapes on their cheeks and forehead, like we had, marking that they had been to our realm. They carried the face paint as a token of their journey to be recognized, or puzzled by others, when they left the Red room into the crowd or down the street.
The “Red Room” was an intense environment intensified by human presence and activated through interaction. Dropping into a Red place where the mind’s reaction to the color combined with the intimacy of human contact within feels like visiting with others inside our own bodies. It was a vehicle to or visit the very physicality of an element in all its potency and power.