YOU LEAVE HERE
SD video. 3:14. 2012.
You Leave Here is from a body of work made in Ireland engaging Irish history, culture, land and language. In You Leave Here, I’m interested in the embeddedness of language in the land, the relationship of the body to land and language, and the cultural and material consequences of rupture from land and place. Layered tracks of a voice trace the body’s leave-taking across a specific landscape, interweaving personal narrative, fading communal memory, and geography. The almost-balletic imagery of moving hands evokes sign language, posing questions about the transmission and reception of language and the ramifications of the loss of both speakers and listeners.
You Leave Here highlights the links between body, place, and language. When access to language is ruptured due to trauma or loss, the voice speaks through the body. Imagery of moving hands engaged in a struggle at times tender, at times violent, insists on the intimacy between the body, land, and language, and the pain that arises when that relationship is rent.
Backstory: In the spring of 2012, I spent six weeks in Ireland, launching a long-term project investigating the workings and failings of memory, and the complex, interwoven dynamics of economy, culture and religion in a remote Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) region of southwest County Kerry. Through deep engagement with the landscape, community and history of the small township of Ballinskelligs (population 600), I seek to make concrete one unique expression of larger cultural, economic, environmental, and religious trends happening worldwide.
You Leave Here speaks to the cultural amnesia and dislocation that have accrued in Ireland due to several key factors: 1) the long history of British colonialism in Ireland and its concerted effort at cultural genocide; 2) the devastating dislocation and concomitant cultural destruction wrought by the Great Hunger of 1847-1849; and 3) the repeated environmental and economic collapses now accelerating in the late 20th and 21st centuries, which make it increasingly impossible for people to earn a living from land and sea, forcing them to emigrate or radically alter their way of life.
With thanks to the Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, Ireland.
View other work from my Ireland project:
The Beautiful Strange Land (An Tír Álainn Aisteach). HD video. 11:15.
The Book of Layers. Multimedia panels.
All the Flesh of his Body. Archival pigment prints; sound compositions.
2014 In Motion. Airspace Projects. Marrickville, Australia.
2013 Rinse|Reuse|Repeat. Belltown Collective. Seattle, WA
2013 A Trapped in Your Mind Feeling. Aggregate Space, Oakland, CA. Curated by Lucy Puls.
2013 Interstitial Theatre Mobile Screen Tour. Seattle, WA
2012 Stamina. WORK Gallery. Detroit, MI
2012 Amherst Biennial. Amherst, MA