Alyssa Kennamer and Evelyn Langley have been at North Mountain since the beginning of September. It is their last day on site and they have chosen to spend the daylight hours moving apple boxes, one by one, up the hill and back into the barn. There are close to a hundred boxes to move.
The apple boxes have served as a sculptural and performative landscape for the two movement-based artists/dancers over the course of their last week here. Each day, the apple boxes have been moved gradually downhill, through a series of improvisational stagings followed by 10-minute movement studies by the two, usually done independently.
“Whats the word?”
Yesterday in their second to last staging, the word “cave” was used to help direct the building of the landscape of apple boxes. In the intervals between stagings, the two discuss the experiences of moving through each study both as performer and witness. They also draw and write to record each study; they consider the process an important part of each cycle. The landscape is moving downhill, much like the channel of erosion that parallels the dirt road they are working on.
Evelyn crouches in the eroded ditch and begins crawling through the precarious stacks of boxes, her body mostly obscured from my view. She raises her hands out from the ditch and contrives the motion of dusting-hands-clean, effectively quoting the gesture while also performing it. She breaks their pre-established rules and begins to move the boxes deliberately. She hastily begins throwing them into a pile; as they roll off to all sides she continuously retrieves and replaces them. She is right there at their limit; the act could go on indefinitely as some kind of balance of conflict is reached between her body and the boxes’.
“I’m really interested in that limit. How much they can take. I’m gonna write down a few things, and then we’ll move on to the next one?” Langley asks Kennamer.
Kennamer and Langley decide to perform the next study together. They begin on either side of the box structure, both in squatting positions. Langley wraps her arms around her legs disabling herself from any normative locomotion; they can barely see one another through the boxes yet they begin moving in nearly perfect mimicry. The two artists act in performative rapport, researching while moving in a feedback loop that is nearly constant and always sharing. I could go on, or you could watch this video: