Animal Time

This was my first major solo show at an arts center after my graduate work. It took place at Redux Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina where I had just moved. I was interested in an alternate view of time, one that animals might experience. I was also continuing some ideas around man's place in the natural world. I declared the year 2006 the year of Camouflage. This was an ironic way of saying the only way we'll ever be able to live in harmony is superficially with the use of synthetic “natural” patterns on our bodies. 

As part of the exhibition I performed an action called MUD COMMUTE. I was living right on the marsh near the ocean at the time and was fascinated by the pluff mud that was exposed every time the tide went out. I saw this material as a raw counterpoint to the harsh cement of the ordered urban environment. I also was interested in the idea of being animal (natural, free) versus being human (unnatural, confined). The action was to take pluff mud from the marsh and bring it into the urban environment as a kind of balancing gesture. I decided to carry it on my body like a garment and deposit it as an action on the Charleston peninsula where REDUX was located. The audience saw a projection of me dressing in business casual clothes putting swipes of pluff mud on myself and then riding my bicycle from the marshy island where I lived to downtown Charleston. I picked up road trash as I went and when I arrived to the REDUX parking lot I threw these items on the ground (a tire frament, a piece of bent metal, and a broken bottle). I got off my bike and sat against a small cinder block building that faced the entrance of REDUX. Two assistants brought over 5-gallon buckets of pluff mud and proceeded to cover me with it. After I was fully covered the video changed to ocean waves and a friend of mine who was inside the cement building poured salt water onto me via two small holes in the front of the small out-building. After this "cleansing" occurred I hopped back onto my bike and rode home back to the marsh.