project image
Cooper Gibson

first performed on November 06, 2020
In a courtyard with gorgeous trees
performed once in 2020


Normal, IL & Lexington, KY & Eubank, KY


One fall day I was improvising some movement in a courtyard on the campus of my university. It was a beautiful day and two people were practicing the trombone nearby. As I moved to their music, I noticed that I kept returning to two movements. The first was walking heel-to-toe in a line; the second, holding my hands in the air. I asked myself “What do these movements mean?” The two conclusions I came to were “What line do I walk?” and “What am I upholding?”

Currently in my studio practice I have been examining whiteness and the unique gender roles that I observed growing up surrounded by poor white southerners in rural Kentucky. With my questions of “What line do I walk?” and “What am I upholding?” I challenge myself and my audience to think critically about our positions in a system of white supremacy and ways in which we can reject and abolish it.

As I moved heel-to-toe with my arms in the air I was reminded of the Flo Milli song “Like That Bitch.” The Mobile, Alabama rapper spits, “I walk around like that bitch” throughout the chorus of the song. As I moved through the courtyard, I felt Flo Milli’s magic throughout my body.

For “Tightrope X/tension 2.0” I filmed myself walking in silence, heel-to-toe on the cracks in the concrete. I followed the cracks in a meandering path around the courtyard. The performance lasted for approximately fifteen minutes. The performance ended when I reached my starting point.