REMINISCING ABOUT THE GOOD OL’ DAYS
The first installment of this piece took place during the Flesh Crisis Symposium in Kansas City, MO. The second installment was performed in collaboration with Crystal Bateman at Panoply Performance Laboratory in Brooklyn, NY.
“Reminiscing About the Good Ol’ Days” was the process of documenting undocumented memories. Each action was a direct re-enactment of an event, or a recreation of the emotional weight present at the time. Memories called upon varied in content, from traumatic experiences to small lighthearted nostalgia. The performance was a process of healing and a way of naming events that shaped the performers’ present selves.
Each action performed uses dialogue or objects that are direct artifacts of these undocumented events, including the Polaroid camera and the first round of Polaroid film used to document the piece. The instant nature of a Polaroid allows for the memories to be documented in their most raw form, leaving no room for errors or tricks. Each time the performance occured there were ten actions—one for each picture in a pack of film. The performance ended when all photos had been taken. When the Polaroid pack was emptied, each photograph was labeled and placed into a photo album.
The performance continues and the albums now exist as objects meant for sharing, where we share the stories behind each of the photographs on a one on one basis.
During the second performance with Crystal Bateman, we passed the camera between the two of us, taking photos of each other’s actions. This act of sharing our burdens and memories allowed for Crystal and myself to support each other as we worked through these recollections. We both become witnesses to each other’s process, able to also provide validation of the other’s strength and capacity for survival.