project image
Devin Munoz

first performed on December 05, 2020
Empty Mechanic Shop
performed once in 2020


Christin Call, Devin Munoz

Seattle, Washington


“Lost in the Familiar” started in April 2020, during the first weeks of the Covid-19 Lockdown. It developed in response to an odd feeling in the air, a sense of time both familiar and strange, a feeling of daily life becoming wholly unfamiliar. The performance occurred in an abandoned mechanic’s garage—an empty, neglected space in the midst of a once-bustling Seattle street. The booming hipster avenue had fallen silent, and the old garage was now a daily destination.

The world of the performance was a forest of tree limbs hanging eight feet from the ceiling, each piece made of branches connected by black-smithed kinetic metal joints. These joints allowed the branches to move, while adding a mechanical quality to their movement that contrasted with their organic shapes.

A single performer danced through this familiar, unfamiliar forest in the middle of a silent city. The colors in the wood echoed her pale skin and bright red hair as she intertwined with each branch, letting some take her entire weight. The branches defined the angles of her body as she moved with them, their joints clicking with a metallic sound while the wood creaked the sounds of an old forest.

The performance embodied that experience of running into a forest as a child. The complete confidence and joy as you race through it, the feeling that you own this world of trees. Then suddenly you turn and realize you are lost. Scared. Nothing looks familiar. As you make your way through the alien wood, you suddenly recognize a tree and it all shifts again. You know where you are, and you plunge happily into your woods.

This back and forth, the same world feeling both yours and completely alien, became a way for me to talk about walking through my own life during the lockdown, even navigating my own mind. Without my usual obligations, the days disappeared; time slowed or halted, the mind wandered through its internal forest without its usual landmarks; memory slipped.

The performer embodied this oddly slow movement in time, making you question whether any time had passed or whether you’d been watching her for a year. She danced through the forest methodically, each movement the same and yet new, until the performance reached its end, leaving you to realize that she is stuck in that slow-moving world forever, while we hope to move on.