project image
Fiona Schade

first performed on December 18, 2021
Basketshop Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
performed once in 2021


Cincinnati, OH


The performance “Untitled (Fence),” a part of the show I Will Wait, begins as a still sculpture. It is brought to life after I light the six wicks at the top of the piece. For the next two hours, the work burns slowly, first burning against the wall and raining soot throughout the space. Then as the fence links connect, the flame grows larger but ultimately separates back out, back in, and back out. It created a very intimate moment between the viewers and the piece during this time, with each twist through each connection bringing a new movement of the flame or twisting of the light, telling a story as it melts away.

My show, I Will Wait at BasketShop gallery, focuses on my Palestinian heritage and the occupation of Palestine. My love and pride for my country are in constant strain with the pain of occupation and a longing for my country. With this collection of performative objects, I crafted candles out of beeswax that are gestural stand-ins that relate to my performance practice.

By using beeswax, I evoke the freedom and restraints of nature. Representing the ardent flightpath of bees in search of pollinating a region free of human boundaries and settling in their home upon return. But, bees are also outfitted with languages such as queen, worker, and drone: language that reflects on the subjugation of the beekeeper who uses the resource of location to claim property over the colony.

The gestures of the pieces, including “Untitled (Fence),” are not meant to depict unification, but are charged with the intrinsic properties of burning slowly. I consider these sculptures as performances in their own right; replacing wax for the body, the pieces create movement with twists of a wick, unraveling a story. The wax, once hardened, can represent a barrier but will always melt away. This work refers to the time passing through a melting candle as well as the ongoing resistance from Palestinians waiting to be free.