Ibex [diagrams for an empty stage] (2012)
anti-opera: video, sculpture installation and vocal performance
Primetime and Know More Games, Brooklyn, New York
Ibex [diagrams for an empty stage] 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 which 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.
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.
gallery A: video installation (stills scene 1-3)
gallery B: sculpture installation & stage set