Residue (2017)

I start the performance lying on my back, holding a pile of wood ash. A soundtrack plays of a baby (my daughter) vocalizing in a cathedral. This track transitions into the sounds of the Angelus bells, or the church bells that play at 12 pm and 6 pm in order to indicate times of prayer and reflection. The soundtrack morphs and stretches. I start to slowly slide on my back towards a music box. The colors of the LEDS I wear shift with my movements. As I move closer to the music box, the sound of bells play from a small speaker. The sound is responding to a heart monitor so they are controlled by the beating of my heart. I slowly stand up, testing the limits of the monitor, playing with the brink of sound and silence.

This work is the second iteration of a performance that emerges from my sensations of defamiliarization as an American who gave birth to and is raising a daughter in Ireland. In particular, I respond to the influence of Catholic ideology on cultural constructs of motherhood and the biopolitics of the female body. Residue was performed as part of “Livestock: Interface,” curated by Francis Fay and Eleanor Lawlor, at the 2017 Glitch Festival, curated by Mart, at Rua Red, Tallaght, Ireland. Photographs are by Katherine Nolan and LĂ©ann Herily.

Square grid with pink, green hues, and yellow with overlay of abstracted hands