Tactile Performance

Mourning Wore Her

Mourning Wore Her is the first piece in which I combined my movement and textile practices. When I returned from creating Channeling Palms in Morocco I had a desire to continue this type of process, but in my New York City environment it felt more natural to generate the material that I would move with rather than find it. In this work I constructed costumery to illustrate my inner world. In a sense, I am turning myself inside out and using movement to interact with the constructed garments as a method for understanding and transforming emotion. 

In this work the ripped black ribbons reference Kriah, a jewish tradition where mourners tear a piece of cloth to help confront the reality of death. The act of tearing a dress worth of ribbon to create this costume was cathartic. The weight of the ribbons on my body felt like the physical representation of the mental weight of death. The movement felt vulnerable and free. The garment is constructed so that when I am standing still it may appear as if I’m in a solid black dress - similar to a cocktail dress, yet when I’m moving in the work, the ribbons are also moving and my body is exposed. A visual metaphor of the feelings of exposure that mourners may feel in society.