Saturday, April 4, 2009

Armour (day thirteen) // Life in Death

I work to generate an understanding that there is an artistic voice in working with living elements. My sources of inspiration draw from the physical, tactile world as a means to transmit knowledge and experience. Sensing a way in which the natural and the urban may interact upon common ground, I'm engaged with questions about the reclamation of outdoor landscape and the socio-political, ecological and physical environments that we are a part of. Concerns and ideas about the role of human culture in the natural world are expressed in my direct and ephemeral processes and interventions that the body can relate to.

"Craftwork establishes a realm of skill and knowledge perhaps beyond human verbal capacities to explain..." - Richard Sennett

The performance — Armour (day thirteen)— is a meditation on the effort needed to preserve folk custom. I find peace in silent work, when I work with my hands and perform physical labour. In Armour (day thirteen), I share with the audience what connection to material process entails, A sense of power is shared collectively, in the act of making and remembering forms of craftsmanship. This is my way of becoming re-enchanted with nature's living elements and re-enlivening this connection.

Armour (day thirteen) is a living and breathing shell of interconnected root systems over the body. It is a literal and symbolic reminder of the strength that is gained from remaining in physical proximity to wilderness. This armour also dies, leaving a collection of memorial costumes, nothing left behind but the shape of an absent body and the smell of decay. The fermentation process is alive and tangible in my work. Within the 13 day process of soaking, germination, growth and decay, the roots of various seeds nest to the surface of burlap coffee and rice bags and bind to the fabric as living threads. The seeds I grow thrive or become moldy, always reacting in new ways depending on the environment they are grown in and the way I care for them
Devin Lee