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 simultanousely. 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 an androgynous visionary called Ibex, whose spiritual contest with her world and her own identity is wrought through the construction of a series of set objects. Ibex is sung in the first-person, appearing on-stage in one space, and momentarily within the video frame in the other. The vocal music is less a method of narrative accompaniment—in the manner of representational theater—than a series of embedded lyrical gestures that, like the stage-sets, are recorded, iterated, and accumulated through the arc of the performance. The 'artifacts' are of various media, durations and scale, documenting the construction of a performance itself - processes perpetually re-staged as present situations. How one conceives of the stage and one's proximity to it determine one’s participation as an audience member. The nature of the show's layout —between two galleries—slices and punctuates the participation of the viewer, as well as what can be made of Ibex.
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