SPILLED MEASURES DANCING AT MY FEET #04
ZIERLE & CARTER / ALEXANDRA ZIERLE & PAUL CARTER
Ten thousand pearls are threaded and laid out on the floor, along with two wooden chairs, a table set with stationary, a wooden box and a lit candle. We are dressed formally.
Durational and interactive (with the intent of transforming limitations through actions and interactions), audiences enter a serene atmosphere: Paul standing in a tuxedo with an assistant, and Alexandra sitting in the middle of the room on a chair dressed in a ‘weddingesque’ red dress.
The assistant gives each audience member a card inviting them, in their own time, to think about any responsibilities in their lives that weigh them down that they would like to shed. Seated at the table, participants are left in silence to write their response and when finished, place their card in the wooden box. Paul then gestures to the participant to come to the back of the space where they take one end of a line of pearls and together walk to face Alexandra. Walking in opposite directions, Alexandra’s head is bound by pearls. Pressing-tugging-pulling-tort-looping-through-knotting. Participants tie all knots and before leaving are whispered to: the collective responsibilities will be shed in the final act in the stairwell.
After 35 participants, the head is completely wrapped/choked tight. The pressure is intense; the breathing is heavy. Arm in arm, we process through adjoining rooms to the landing. Alexandra is left to blindly navigate her way down the Palazzo’s stairs to the canal, gradually ripping pearls away, spilling and dancing, as onlookers are encouraged to journey with her. At the waters edge, final pearls are shed and dropped. The amassed responsibility cards are fastened (with bandage tape) to a rock, words eradicated, and sunk into the canal.
Its fourth manifestation, “Spilled Measures Dancing At My Feet #04” is inspired by an interview series (Canada/Europe) on love, considering what love is and what it is not and what actions people take in order to move from a place of “non-love” to a place of love. This work has developed in response to site and context, introducing parallel actions and interactions at MOGZ (Bydgoszcz, Poland), and amplification at Vaudeville Park (New York, USA) with composer Brian McCorkle. #04 is the first to include participants being invited to offer their thoughts and collectively bind the head with pearls.