Ve-uews2012-2015

My first NEPO piece was called Ve-uews and was made because I needed a non-verbal connection to others after the sudden death of my dad. I really needed to connect with people by holding their hands and looking in their eyes.  I sat behind a structure that looked like a fence and gazed and held hands for 6 hours.  I gazed at people as long as they could hold their concentration.  So many emotions were expressed through the eyes and the hands.  I learned how powerful non-verbal communication through eye contact and hand holding was and really wanted others to experience something similar.  

The second NEPO piece was inspired by the experience I had as a performer in the first piece.  The second year I created Ve-uews: A Peepshow which explored the ideas of the exoticising of hands “making” juxtaposed by the hands of factory workers and voyeurism.  I created a structure that looked like a circus tent and I asked volunteers to sit inside of it only exposing their hands.  They were asked create a repetitive ritual of making with the materials I provided for them (string, fabric, clay, etc.)  I learned that the women’s hands were always objectified and sexualized no matter what structure I provide for them.

The third NEPO piece called Ve-uews: crafty Syence was inspired by the book The Many Headed Hydra, which tells stories of radical women who healed others through herbs.  I related histories of these women to women artists own histories and the demonization and witch hunts that were related to organized religion.  I created three confession booths and I asked volunteers to sit inside as the priest.  I asked volunteers to hold hands with the viewers and make a connection with them and then draw their soul on a lanyard.  This was the first time I made the viewer do work by kneeling before the women artists.
 
My last piece in this series was called Ve-uews: (w)Holes and addressed holes, making holes, mending holes and having holes (as women.)  The impetus for this piece comes from a lot of different places: grandmothers that mend clothing, self-harm and cutting, suturing wounds and the politics of wounds, red light districts and the sexualization of the physical holes women possess.  I asked volunteers to teacher the viewers how to sew, sutture of mend a piece of fabric coated in latex.  I was interested in learning, through the performers about how these ideas are constantly crossing over and under each other revealing the vulnerability, malleability and sexualization of openings.  

It is my hope that these performances have pointed towards how, as women, we may engage an audience in our exploration of gaps, and how, as a community, we may come together as a “whole”.
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