Performance Artwork “Places for the Soul: The Plains of Tession” from March 15th, 2013.

This performance artwork was designed for The Fragments from the Garden show at SDAD.  The work in titled Places for Souls: The Plains of Tession. The “stage” area is a large box about 14 ½ feet long, 36 inches wide and about 18 high, there is another pedestal box placed in the front of that, it measures 36 x 36 inches square and 15 inches high.

On either side there are two old wooden doors erected, two wooden chairs and two enamel basins; piled in the center is a collection of shoes, about 30 pair or so. The entire stage area faces the street placed in front of the large plate-glass windows. I’ll be posting a video shortly of the performance but included here a few stills from the opening. There will be another performance at the closing reception on April 13th.

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Places for the Soul: The Plains of Tession. Performance art piece created by Kevin Greeland, performed by Wallpaper Performance Company, dance performers Dina Apple and Jennifer Oliver, arranged by choreographer Alicia Peterson-Baskel and sound environment by generative sound designer Blair Robert Nelson. The work functions as a “séance” of sorts, in which dance performers act as mediums to engage the spirits from “The Plains of Tession” a pseudo-space within the garden, adding a little twist of Dada to the performance.

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The premise of the work is …

In searching for souls there is a folklore tradition of sorts that has a living person seated on a kitchen chair (the kitchen is seen as the heart of the body of a home) placing their feet in the shoes of a deceased person and then stepping (submerging) their feet into a pale/wash basin of water allowing the living to crossover and commune with the departed soul. The water should be spring water or hand drawn from a well and grounds the person so they may return back to the earthly realm. I push this one step further in that the blended séance is not just a crossover to engage the souls of the deceased but the soul of the actual home, with the identity of the house and with it’s previous ancestral structures.

House becomes enclosed and humanized space—a place within this space becomes “Home.” As human beings we require both space and place, both house and home yet little attention is sometimes given to the greater understanding of what this means and how they differ to us all as individuals and to generations, seemly our own lack of interests can facilitate the loose of homes for many by greed and ignorance. Home is a place, it is a pause in movement, a pause at a locality that satisfies some human need to become a center of felt value, home is where we can rest in our strength and dwell within; home implies permanence—this thing home as an object endures and seems dependable in ways that we with our biological weakness and shifting moods are not—home is the enduring if not illusionary history rewritten in the memory of who we are.

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Wallpaper Performance Company, dance performers Dina Apple and Jennifer Oliver.

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Wallpaper Performance Company, generative sound designer Blair Robert Nelson.

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The choreographer from Wallpaper Performance Company Alicia Peterson-Baskel and Blair.

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Me looking a little crazy with my crooked bow-tie with sound artist Blair Robert Nelson.

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