Aug 9, 2010


I enjoyed Elizabeth and Jenna's performance at Nationale last week partially for what it wasn't. They had wanted to perform outside and had set up a projection screen in front of the shop, but the Burnside construction noises had prohibited this from being feasible; instead, like sardines we packed in around Oregon Painting Society's sculptural objects to enjoy a performance in two parts: First, a video of the pair moving in psuedo-synchronicity in front of a rotating landscape ranging from New Mexican white desert to an Indian reservation to the lawn of the White House. There was no sound, the room was hot, the effect was spare and specific. After the video, Elizabeth read a series of movement directions - that in the end were revealed to be text messages sent from a friend to the girls during their road trip across the country and also the choreography from the video - and we were instructed to follow along. At first I groaned inside, my contrarian nature rebelling against active group participation. "Step four lengths to the left." "Put your face in a neutral position." But then something magical happened, and my resistance melted into total acceptance. "Look bored." "Put your arms at 90 degrees." Delight, in fact. "Whistle 'Walking After Midnight' By Patsy Cline." What could have been reduced to a spectacle for Burnside traffic was instead an intimate and hilarious experience that all attendants gave themselves to, hopping and grinning around the tiny gallery like demented chickens. It felt personal and unique, as any iteration of VERY LARGE ARRAY could in fact be.

Including your own! DVDs and MOVEMENTSCORE booklets are now available at Nationale for $8. Help support commodification opportunities for live artists, a gallery/shop that supports them, as well as buying yourself a great party trick and instant home performance art.
Review of show by Lisa Radon on Ultra.
Photos above by May Juliette Barruel.

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