Ibex [diagrams for an empty stage] (2012-2015) is a performance exhibition taking place between two adjacent gallery spaces. A video installation with a full score and a live a cappella vocal performance within a sculpture installation each play out simultaneously. The song-cycle is in three parts and the method of its storytelling revolves around identical vocal stanzas falling in and out of sync, a diagram for which appears in the first frame of the video. The libretto contains a series of the reflections by a character called Ibex, whose spiritual contest with her world and her own identity is wrought through the construction of a series of set objects. This is in juxtaposition to the text, a confessional contemplation of her role as a town's visionary and her public persona as a man. Sung in the first-person, appearing on and off-stage in one space, and momentarily within the video frame in the other. The vocal music is less a method of narrative accompaniment to the object-based scenography—as in the manner of representational theater—than a series of embedded lyrical gestures that, like these stage-sets, are recorded, iterated, and accumulated through the arc of the performance. The 'artifacts' are of various media, durations and scale, and document the construction of a performance itself - processes perpetually re-staged as present situations in which the main character is continuously disarticulated. One's proximity to the two stage-frames and the show's layout slices and punctuates what can be made of Ibex, as well as the participation of the viewer in the narrative.
First performed in 2012, this work was formatted as an anti-opera: including short opera-video, sculpture installation and vocal performance at Primetime and Know More Games, Brooklyn, New York. In 2015, Ibex [diagrams for an empty stage] was staged for a four hour performance at the historic First United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas for Aurora, curated by Tim Goosens.
rehearsal, Oct 15, 2015.
First United Methodist Church, Dallas Tx
(stills scene 1-3)
& stage set