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Lily Baxter

first performed on February 29, 2020
My______ Gallery
performed once in 2020


Los Angeles, CA


“Realigned Possession” was created weeks before COVID closures began throughout the US. Animating themes of spectrality, transfiguration, transmission, and disclosure, “Realigned Possession” is tethered to the contingencies of each performer’s corporeal and affective limits. The exhibition evolved and deflated over a period of 48 hours. Preliminary and predictive sculptures created by Robinson were dragged, flayed, and consumed through a series of endurance-based gestures by Baxter. Sculptural objects became surrogates for unspeakable tones of grief, longing, pleasure and regret. A pane of glass stands in as the body of a dead lover, a pantsuit distorts into a second skin, a plinth of charcoal becomes a limb.

Existing in pairs, the sculptures are embedded with poems. As Robinson sleeps blindfolded, Baxter constellates a dreamscape. Embracing charcoal plinths, Baxter drags herself across the floor and up the wall toward drawings made on sheets of sugar. Consuming them, hidden poems etched into the drywall beneath are revealed. Removing bandages from a blood-filled towel rack, Baxter enacts Robinson’s lost menstruation as blood drips onto a rag below. As Baxter hangs stained latex gloves from monofilament clotheslines and graphite-coated snakes from ceiling pipes, Robinson contorts on the floor to peel a layer from their rubber suit.

Unchoreographed, we mirror each other, acknowledging one another only in the final moments. On day two, Baxter lays beneath a glass sheet repeating the phrase “the gash, the piss, the fire” while spraying an edible aerosol into her mouth. Pink mist stains her face and stencils her body onto the floor. Watching from a distance, Robinson slowly sheds their second suit layer. After hours, Baxter crawls out to relieve herself onto the glass. More gloves are collected and hung as Baxter meticulously cleans and arranges the evidence from her previous actions. As Robinson peels away the final suit layer, Baxter begins to ask the audience “Will you come closer?” over and over. Even as they pin her against the wall, some embracing while others remain distant, Baxter continues “Will you come closer? Will you come closer? You’re not close enough,” until even Robinson leaves.

“Realigned Possession” takes up a backward temporality, obsessively pointing toward a futurity that makes space for its past. By collapsing our cyclical practices, we haunt the space of performance with reverberating actions, levitating objects and possessed forms that enact trans poetics of the body. Together, our works seek out horizon lines in Queer and Trans potentialities.