Performance / Video Installation (work-in progress)
Taking Shape explores the concept of camouflage as a performance practice. The strategy of blending in has been a long established survival technique in the animal kingdom but it is also a way to look at the environment more closely, in how it constructs our subjectivity. What are the politics of camouflage as performance? What are the potentialities and limitations of making someone or something (in)visible? What is gained or lost in “blending in”? Taking Shape investigates camouflage as a form of empathy, learning about the “other” through the appropriation of another’s shape, pattern and pose.
The beginnings of Taking Shape were first developed during an artist residency at Signal Culture in 2017. In the video, figures try on each other’s camouflage both in terms of pattern and shape. A duck wears leopard print. A fabric forest covered body attempts to fill in the form of a duck. A pair of hands enter the video frame—a shadow-fisting of sorts—matching the position of shadow puppetry diagrams. Trying to fit into another body, object or environment becomes both an empathetic gesture and an impossible task as one can never truly fit in.