I was invited to participate to participate in the exhibition Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s-Now, addressing the practice of performative actions, & how these artists countered the culture that surrounded and oppressed them by embodying the live elements of performance art in order to push for social change.
I wanted to create a piece addressing the longest government shutdown in history; the unwillingness to work together as a country, as a people. If we can even remember to back then… because it seems decades ago, 46 minus 1 shut down the government for 35 days , shaking the country with uncertainty, throwing a tantrum wanting 6 billion dollars to build a border wall. Causing essential workers to lose wages.He was quoted “I am drawing the line.” Referencing his unwillingness to cooperate.The phrase “draw a line in the sand” was used by President George Bush at the beginning of the Gulf War. And It was also said to have taken place during the siege of the Alamo in 1836, when William Barret Travis drew a line in the sand with his sword and urged those willing to stay and defend the fort to step across it.
What does a country’s 35 days shutdown or drawing the line have anything to do with tango?”It takes two to Tango!” Visual metaphors & expressions like this one inundate our conversations, they are built into our language. What a lot of people might not know about Tango, is that the power symmetry between leader and follower are completely equal. Leader and follower don’t actually see what the other one is doing. Your entire body pays attention, it listens. Your movements are a communication back and forth without words.
But what if this line was drawn by two opposing forces in unison? What if we crossed over on our expressions as well? What if both parties walked towards each other, embraced, spun together using their centripetal force from the center, combating gravity and projected a line across a horizon… Not looking down, but looking forward.