Thoughts on relentless display
I was raised at the museum, and by the museum I mean the idea of the museum. This is the idea that history and culture can be located and centralized, that we can somehow improve ourselves just by proximity to objects that are researched, certified, anointed. I came to dancing as a museum of dance, a litany of movements that I would shape my body into and I was happy, so happy to do it. But then I became interested in systems, I began looking at my collections and wondering why I was gathering these objects and not others. And, like anything you look at closely, the systems started to unravel for me, the collections and categories no longer made sense. I started making dances because dances were what I knew best, so in making dances I could take them apart. If someone had shown me how a combustion engine worked instead of taking me to ballet class, I probably would have become an engineer. For a long time I worked in this broad category of deconstruction, without knowing it’s name or history, and then I learned it’s name and history and I thought, I am making dances that deconstruct and reposition the images of women’s bodies and the meanings that are attached to them and I would argue that didn’t ever really go away. But I get frustrated with this, I get frustrated that even in recontextualizing the female body it never gets to escape reference or meaning or femaleness, if you’re making dances with women somewhere along the line someone decides you’re making dances about women because how could all of those kinds of bodies be there and yet you’re making a dance about something else? So I tried examining my body like a foreign object and I tried relating it not to other bodies but to other materialities and I got still because it didn’t seem to matter what way I moved so why move at all? And so then all my dances were read as evidencing of female archetypes and I think maybe that’s when I realized that no one was ever going to let me be an engineer. So here’s some ladies, all these ladies, go ahead. It’s a relentless display.