All I See Is Blue

Michael Love, an MFA Theater student at The University of Texas in Austin, and I collaborated to create a contemporary performance of Langston Hughe's "Let America Be American Again" poem from the 1940s. In a large space, echoes distort the recitation of Hughes' poem overlapped with Love's tapdancing. After each stanza I've recited I do a military about face to Love who is faced away from me. In response he tap-dances on top of a plot of soil. The result are two squares of disheveled soil bought from South East Austin, a historically black community that has been gentrified. Behind me as I recite the poem is a coffin sized American flag dyed in blue hanging from a clothesline. The performance is a visceral response to the relevance of Hughes' poem to today's political climate. The use of the flag, military actions, and soil call to the ways that Americans are often understood as being patriotic and/or living up to the "american dream" (agriculture, military service, for ex.)

Top Layer Soil from South East Austin, Muslin Fabric, Blue Dye, Clothespins, Wire, Polyester Thread | Total Running Time : 7 minutes

 Residue Image of Performance

Residue Image of Performance