REDELL & JIMENEZ
In “Semaphore,” we are interested in exploring the psychological dimension of negotiating between national identities. We perform in Liberty State Park (New Jersey), where Ellis Island and Liberty Island are visible in the background. These sites hold a symbolic and historical charge around the internal complexity of re-location and re-interpreting a sense of self when moving from one place to another.
We perform in an earth-toned conjoined bodysuit, navigating between three empty flagpoles stationed at Liberty State Park. The bodysuit is a greenish tan color, mirroring the color of the land, while the fabric and texture of the suit allude to the material of the absent flags. The suit metaphorically bridges the relationship between land, the symbolism of a flag and the body that negotiates between multiple national identities. In addition to the color, the suit has protruding, geometric appendages that further mask the outline of our bodies beneath the material. Within the suit, our bodies transform into biomorphic forms that are unable to be categorized as any one specific identity.
In the performance, we move from flagpole to flagpole, wrapping around each one. There are moments when one of us moves towards the next flagpole, while the other stays wrapped around the previous one; this motion creates a visible tension in the suit and our movements. At other points, we appear as one organic form encasing the base of a single flagpole. Periodically, the wind catches the loose parts of the suit, exposing the nature of the material and the outline of our bodies beneath it. Our movements of pulling apart and connecting to the empty poles symbolize the concept of negotiating around predetermined boundaries and categories of identity. The title “Semaphore” refers to a means of visual communication over long distances that is used in many different cultures. Typically, it is a system where one uses flags to signal information to another person.