C&C SWIMMING FACTORY / CAROLINA MAYORGA & CRAIG GARRETT
“Lesson 2” was first presented for the Washington Project for the Arts synchronized swimming performance art competition SynchroSwim on August 3rd, 2013 at the Capitol Skyline Hotel in Washington, DC. In this five-minute performance, the duration of George Frederic Handel’s “Water Music,” I, Carolina Mayorga, playing the role of a Latina swimming apprentice, attempted to complete a full circuit around the hotel pool by grabbing onto the ledge in cautious moves at the sound of white male instructor Craig Garrett’s whistle signal.
Four teams participated in SynchroSwim, 2013, and judges scored them in three different categories: Best Execution, Best Visual Spectacle, and Crowd Favorite. For this piece, I deliberately overlooked the synchronized requirements of the competition and used the pool space and the interaction between the two characters to comment on issues of identity, power and vulnerability. The conceptual intentions of the piece were emphasized at the end of the event, as our team, C&C Swimming Factory, won last place by obtaining the lowest scores in all categories, including Crowd Favorite, despite a couple of very noticeable supporters.
As a continuation of my artistic interests in these social and political themes, our team performed a second installment titled “Lesson 3, at the Ocean” in which I added the forces of the natural settings as another metaphor for power and vulnerability.