project image
Kristin McWharter

first performed on February 4, 2018
somewhere in a parched California landscape, outside Los Angeles, CA
performed once in 2018


Chicago, IL


It’s a warm day, though the gentlest of breezes passes over from time to time. It’s a time when a great deal of insecurity has struck our communities, our neighborhoods, and our relationships. There is some sense of an external threat, a drive to move forward, to overcome, to plough forward. There is an ambition to uphold the task at hand; to contribute in a collaborative effort towards a shared goal. To watch something grow.

“Breath Bank” took place on a warm day on a parched piece of earth. A round robin of folks cycled through, taking turns inflating a weather balloon. Together, they pooled their breath into an expanding white mast. They tested their lungs to exhaustion and pushed forward in their mission to grow the form, never mindful of the futility of the task. Each individual was further motivated by the collective effort, becoming increasingly complicit in the creation of a false cloud.

As the performers labored, taking turns as needed though never wavering in their will or focus, the great mass of whiteness hovered over them. It blocked their vision. It muted their hearing. An elastic stench consumed their nostrils. And they continued to breathe into it.

Until a breeze passed over them and the balloon popped on a cactus.