“I couldn’t find the word silence in my Dene dictionary. However, I did find the word WAIT (K’a).” Performance 18min Australia, Natimuk
Silence is often perceived as negative, or passive, or of censorship, yet it is a space that is central to thought. “In today’s noise-polluted world, silence can be a powerful tool. Through The Silence of Sovereignty, Dylan Miner proposes that we listen to the silence of certain places as a form of resistance, a quiet strength of aboriginal sovereignty”.
This performance was my reaction to my time during the Time_Place_Space: Nomad artist residency facilitated by Art House (Melbourne) and Performance Space (Sydney). I requested the residency participants to sit on a hill above the location of my performance. I wanted a distance for a viewpoint of my body in landscape. The location, Lake Natimuk, was next to our campsite. Lake Natimuk is now completely dried out from the intense drought that plagues this area. To begin the performance I walked to the centre of the dried lake only with a bucket of water. I grounded myself bodily to find my place in the dried lake. I then knelt to submerge my hair in the bucket’s lukewarm water. As I rose to my feet, I positioned a steadying stance . one that allowed my hair to dangle in front of my face and torso , creating an abstraction of form and landscape from afar. The performance was 18 minutes — the time it took my hair to dry in the humidity and sun. Lake Natimuk is described as an “Ephemeral Lake” in the didactic at the lake, and it is with this ephemera I reclaimed an embodied silence and intimacy.
Here is a writing I did for the Canada Council for the Arts about my time in Australia.