AFTER THE FRACTURE
NYUGEN E. SMITH / MARVIN FABIEN
“After the Fracture,” a collaborative performance created by interdisciplinary artists Marvin Fabien and Nyugen E. Smith, is a para-fictional epic. It imagines a future, when a fracture between continental plates allows continents to drift. The Fracture causes the Caribbean plate to rise and float away as the others surf toward each other. Island nations from the Caribbean archipelago, once divided by water, are now together on what is called The Island, and separated only by time. The historical timeline on The Island is referenced as Pre / Post-Fracture. In its new location, The Island has escaped climate catastrophe. New folklore, language, festivals, musical forms, and systems of governing, predicated on preservation of life and care for the environment emerge.
“After the Fracture” is the duo’s fourth meditation on climate change affecting the Caribbean, coastal cities in the United States, and fragile sites populated by black and brown people across the globe. It is a continuous three-act work, scored by Fabien’s dynamic soundscapes in proximity to the Bundlehouse. The soundscape was inspired by the contemporary music culture of the Caribbean. The sound extrapolates rhythms from Dancehall Reggae and Bouyon, and includes sounds from the Caribbean landscape. The sound creates an atmosphere of instability, presenting an image of the Caribbean between paradise and disaster. The soundscape is mixed and played live to emphasize the importance of the spoken words and songs, and to reinforce the creative energies between the performers. The sound employed in this performance acts as a converging element which amplifies the discourse on climate change. Bundlehouse, a term coined by Smith, refers to his ongoing work based on shelters constructed from detritus by those forced to flee their home / land. Bundlehouse is also a metaphor for rebuilding one’s life from what remains. The Bundlehouse installation process was open to the public from Monday, December 2, 2019 through December 8, 2019.