Interactive installation with sculptural objects, immersive audio, and live performance
Bookless, Madison Public Library
featuring Eleanor Johnson
Materials: small round wooden table, two chairs, two paper plates, lace tablecloth, empty crystal cake platter, lace/cotton cloud, appropriated queer feminist texts, audio collage, live performance
Audience members are invited to observe the installation from the circular perimeter of the space, or enter the installation and sit in the empty chairs. A melodramatically-inflected audio collage, excerpting text from Jane Rule’s Desert of the Heart (1964), permeates the space. Over the course of four hours, the two performers return to and leave the space in a cyclical pattern, producing tonal shifts. Every fifteen minutes, Eleanor sings Katie Stelmanis’ “Lose It” (2009) with a decelerated tempo, juxtaposing a rich, haunting melody against the hollowness of the audio track and the emptiness of the space.
Appropriating and juxtaposing queer feminist texts that allude to historical arcs from second-wave feminism to post-feminism and from pre-Stonewall to legalized gay marriage, Script evokes competing alliances, performing a tension between rejection and assimilation, between disruption and repetition of institutional and embodied scripts – between the desire to abandon conventional (particularly gendered and heteronormative) scripts, and a paradoxical, melancholic nostalgia for what, in the wake of this abandonment, is lost.
Designed and directed by Katrina Schaag; performed by Eleanor Johnson and Katrina Schaag.