“Body/Bag” is a nineteen-and-a-half-minutes long performance in which Burke responded to Kate Gilmore’s use of destructive mark making and repurposed objects to explore the act of destruction and play with the viewer’s expectation.
This piece starts out with a limp black duffel bag lying in the center of a white sheet surrounded by white walls. Directly in front of the bag are three clear, shapely flower vases filled with pastel blue, green, and lavender house paint. A hesitant figure walks towards the bag wearing deep violet color-blocked heels and a muted green button up housedress with a small bow tied around the center to maintain a fitted look around the waist. The figure proceeds to zip the vases into the duffel bag one by one and stands up to lightly grab the duffel bag, only to proceed in slamming it back onto the concrete floor, glass smashing in one explosive thud. This action goes on until a pale lavender color begins to seep out from the seams of the bag. The figure then begins to pace around the object in an awkward yet contemplative manner. The viewer notices the overlap of heels clicking on the concrete and the crushing of glass beneath each uncomfortable movement. The crisp, white sheet is now covered in calming, yet sickly lavender, and shards of glass have ripped their way through the once deep black duffel bag. The once pristine objects lie annihilated at the feet of the audience. The figure exhales in what can be read as defeat or relief, only to wipe their hands of the sickly color and walk off, leaving an aggressively physical battleground of a painting for the viewer.