“Intimacy” is a performance work in which I interact with a life-sized, inchoate, human-shaped figure made of raw, flour-covered bread-dough, in an improvisatory scenario that draws upon the intractability of the material as a partner to evoke fundamental aspects of human intimacy, of hope and desire and the inevitability of their disappointment, and of the creative experience in general. During the thirty minute performance the audience will sit or stand in a circle around me and will be invited to participate towards the end.
“Intimacy” situates the creative impulse—the intention implicit in formed dough of proceeding to a next stage of completion—at the cusp of realization, deferring the act of making and protracting the delicious and ecstatic moment of possibility in a fantasia that dramatizes its sublime joy, its infinite hope, and the profound poignancy of the urge to give life to the inert, also thematizing the inevitable divergence of intention and reality, as the material resists or lags behind the fluid and soaring will of the creator, leavening ecstasy with frustration. Alternatively, it acknowledges the irreducibility, meaning, and value of the creative process even in the face of the limitations of all material and the inevitable imperfection of the created work.
The very notion of being intimate with material—with one’s chosen material—invokes the relation of the maker to stuff, to some extent a give and take, but despite all efforts to the contrary, led by the maker. One way or another we translate everything into the human, make of unformed stuff something like ourselves, regardless of whether we form or de-form it. And love or creative desire, though they seek to integrate, also alter the thing they love. The performance, whether we see it as the exploration of material, as the courtship of the idea, or as communion with the other, embodies the poignant futility of that urge, and which the coming into contact with the materiality of the body / self / stuff of the other, only potentiates, adding languor to our longing. The corpse-like, unrealized figure of “Intimacy” ties the (necessary) failure of love to death, the necessity of death to the failure of love.
In the suggestion of traditional “women’s work” I want to imply that all, even socially compromised, creative work holds out the glimmer of hope, of the chance for freedom and self-realization.