(The following is a creative response written during Keith Hennessy and Circo Zero’s performance of Turbulence: A dance about the economy on September 21, 2012 at Velocity Dance Center)
It’s a mess and cassette tapes are everywhere, cardboard is covering the mirrors on the wall, the audience is sitting in the usual place but also on the edges and also here, where I am by the mirrors. I brought a few people with me. I am ketchup and mustard tonight. I’m feeling a sort of weight from the week of talking…a sweaty weight a sort of heartbreak Keith Hennessy talked about heartbreak, well really he just spoke the word at the Speakeasy the evening before this performance.
…and then the possibility, the decision to stop believing in anything here I see. We are believing in anything, we are shaking, who will consider the tectonic movement of this room and the smell of sweat and a slew of product scents from perfumes to cleansers? Hands on a face, a pornographic Oil of Olay commercial, stroking as biased as fucking as floating.
The Marley on the floor stinks and the people stink we are all looking toward the door, my gang is, it’s just how we are seated. We are a bit high up.
There the headband has something to do with military boots I mean, my thrift store, holding hands has always been dangerous I suppose and Jello shots, really? There, those two and a whisper, a strap, another strap, an impossible and un trustworthy trapeze (judging from the look of it). Does it work? Really a bit of burning man, the burn is in there, it maybe something as simple as a tingle, tell them, text them if you have to. Next, whiskey in Dixie cups (and that is familiar).
Jupiter is getting dragged across the floor and I wonder “Am I always in drag?” It’s a bit torn up, the body roll, the twist, the spit flies, the panting, the kneeling set of cords and still the gym class before me continues with something like a break up happening but soon, tenderness and hot and heavy naked rolling on the floor.
WILL: “Ooooh! butt stand!”
Yes, someone stood on a person’s ass and they appeared to go uninjured. Another duet is happening, there, a pelvis adjustment, a pop is heard, I hope. That guy in the Mickey Mouse shorts, he’s pacing talking to the audience. Let’s cozy up and comfy up and take a nap somewhere near. I know you, I know you, I’ve met you. A bit of the ball park a bit of the luche libre.
In fact, a moan…
there is a swelling a hoping I can be here with you and 15 years of touching somebody can become dangerous…unstableddddd but consensual(grab hit, push tug a bit of a pop to the jaw and they just go at it, continue and soon), and that was the fantasy, that there is anything but force and consent.
Still, someone’s getting fucked (Phillip Glass) a smug, a funeral song for my friend Eric he’s on a diving board at the beach in Korea and he’s fucked up on xanax, and we found out Faiz is +++++++, it’s really hiv and it’s still happening…
our prince, filthy princessessss, kingzzzzz and queeeens
and here, at Turbulence with Circo Zero, I can finally grieve a bit instead of just doing what I have to do to get through.
This could still be the warm up. Who’s team? Do you pitch or catch?
I fell in love so I looked down and remembered an Underworld song and a road trip to Portland and one to Vancouver and they became the same road trip and the faces of my dearly departed queers blended into one face and we were the same and we’ve gone missing and we’ll never be the same even after we attempt to press and press our torsos together and our limbs tangle and we slap and hit at it until it just fucking falls apart.
The monster, yes, Ben and Chris and Liz and Logan stopped talking and it ruined everything.
Disaster disaster, you can’t wear this when you’re an office temp that’s fer sure.
Falling to different degrees my dear Madeleine knows this and she’s learned this and recorded this but I felt it mostly while here heart was letting go, breaking.
It’s just sex and sex is everything. Is it here? Is there something unforgiveable, his dick is just hanging out of his pants and he is glee and all the secret rubbings just out there, running through the open air. We still touch occasionally, or never, or ze hits me or ze just stands there. My platform vibrates and Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, drone, re mixed, blended in a blender, a smoothie gone wrong….
Here she, he did, they…the cords, a slapping an unborn whip swishing through those steady and sweaty and slightly clasped palms. They are teeming, Jupiter rises, zombies just won’t die, the tone, the room tone, the legs swish forth. Knock, knock knock…
JUPITER: “I’m trying to open up new doors, but there are no doors.”
Feedback. A bit like the recycling truck in the morning, Emily and Jorge, hip push, hand stands on hips and a quick flip upwards, and the torso extends and it looks like that hurt. Their hips. They switch roles, they propel themselves up, quickly both are flat again on the floor head to head. Push, strip, fall. A hug, a pile a massage a message. Keith hangs there on the trapeze, just by the ankles, his shirt is grabbed off of his body and then wrapped quickly around his dangling head, and then 2, 3, 4 and more shirts and his knees shake. Performing suffocation is impossible without dying a little bit. An end of lynching, dangling like a cut rope, a willing participant, a dangling zit, pus oozing.
The signature, this is how the work is signed, a human pyramid, collected from the audience and then cast members, this is a diagram, this is a stack, a tower, a shoulder and here a slippery knee presses down on a naked back, on all fours.
MARKEITH: “Optional nudity…nudity, it’s optional.”
Chalk the hands before grabbing the bar, there the bag is sitting right by the wall, by the speaker. Heavy petting heavy breathing…
KEITH: “I mean is everyone happy, I mean not necessarily speaking poetically but also poetically. I don’t know if I can do much in this situation.”
What if it’s all banned, what if we are all eventually banned from everywhere, even our bedrooms, or our homes are just gone, or we become boring, despite all the rage, all my glitter, there it is, just a bunch of mean streaks and piles of bodies in trenches. We’ve done it before.
Pink Washing, you too, cap hill, condos rising up outside as we speak or don’t speak, condos vibrate. I mean, how do you move, how do you really move, when no one is watching? I mean how did you stop renting? I mean what is leasing, I mean who’s bank? And there the hidden drawer full of student loan default notices.
Jumping little bitty aerobics sweeping
There is no heart button on this keyboard, just that weird attempt by the the less than sign and the number 3
This is inadequate. This fails. Garbage, reach out and someone may hand you garbage even if your eyes are closed GOLD (there, I typed it out and now I’ve said something of value)
I’m shitting you.
Violence is becoming a dance so we can celebrate the body that only gets it’s power from the club, always a cover charge, an apparition, a GOLD ghost infected it’s covering the audience, sweaty and a few holes in it, someone runs away from the crowd before they can be consumed, what does it look like from under there.
Joan took it, that amazing piece of gold fabric.
???: “Werk, Joan!”
???: “What’s under there Joan?”
JOAN: “You know what’s under here. It starts with a fucking S…SHAME.”
There’s no SHAME button on here.
The teeming, prismatic, audience, an ocean of shit that sparkles and may or may not be on my side but no one’s said anything so far, but you know, there have been “looks”. My force, it’s impotent, it can’t be felt from over here.
SYNIVA: “They’re playing our game.” (I whispered that.)
Pissing, really pissing on a piece of cardboard and really the waft of urine and it is a golden shower and someone’s head did get shoved into it and the face went beat red, but overall it was tender to the extreme. Warhol comes to mind and I wonder if I haven’t seen this before but with more oxidation and stretched canvases.
(You know it’s me, right? You don’t know me, some of you know me. When I see you I’ll be happy to see you. I may smile, touch your arm.)
DANCE PARTY ENDING.
Syniva Whitney is a post-disciplinary installation artist, performer, filmmaker and writer (even though it may sound like BS to say “post” and then list some disciplines, it seems more interesting than listing every freaking medium she likes working with). Syniva is the editor of STANCE as well as an artist in residence and project manager at Studio Current. Syniva is a queer POC that doesn’t mind being called by the pronoun they or saying he is post-black and against the gender binary. They live in Seattle, WA. www.syniva.com