project image
screenshot by Marilyn Arsem

first performed on June 19, 2020
online in La Pocha Nostra and Grace Exhibition Space's Digital Broadcast
performed once in 2020


Boston, Massachusetts


In June I was asked to make a performance for “How to Survive the Apocalypse,” which was to be streamed live online on Juneteenth. It was my first foray into creating a work to be viewed online.

I approached it as I normally do to create work for specific sites, which always have constraints. I knew that we would be working on Zoom, and that my performance would occupy one quarter of the screen, with four different performances being seen simultaneously. We were asked to create a single action that would last an hour. I understood that the four performances would to be silent, with a soundtrack that would be created over all. No one knew what the others were planning to do. We were asked to make a work that responded to events that were happening in the world.

Two days before the event I finally had an idea, and fortunately I had the necessary materials at hand. Stores were still closed in the pandemic shutdown, and it was too late to order anything online. I made my own set of playing cards. I downloaded images from the internet, resizing and printing them and adhering them to a deck of cards.

They are images of strife in our world today. There are photos of repressive, corrupt, and fascist politicians from the USA and around the world. There are images of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Brazil and China. There are pictures of militarized police engaged in brutality against protesters at Standing Rock and in Black Lives Matter demonstrations. There are photos of Trump’s expanded border wall between the USA and Mexico. There are satellite views of a recent oil spill in Russia moving towards the pristine Arctic, photos of forest fires in the Amazon and California, and other evidence of global warming including glaciers melting, seas shrinking and rivers flooding.

In the performance of “Enough Is Enough,” I shuffled the cards and attempted to build them into a house. I held each card up close to the camera so that the viewers could see the image before I added it. The construction was always precarious. Each time it fell, I shuffled the cards and started to build it again. Even though the combinations of cards were random, connections could be made between the people and events pictured, and the collapses occurring throughout the world.

Change must come.