and you did not even know enough to be sorry
A site specific installation made of custom wallpaper, cast paper, and adhesive
Installation view at the North Carolina Museum of Art
16’ x 26’ x 6.5’
Made with the help of: Tatum Eyre, Todd Bowser, Susanne Baker, Twenty 2 Wallpaper, Kaitlin Botts, and Kris Julio
This work presents the illusion of a beautiful disaster of a cast paper tree crashing through this wallpapered wall, bringing drywall, furniture, and lighting fixtures down with it - the aftermath of some catastrophic weather event. and you did not even know enough to be sorry regards our fleeting sense of safety and loss within these ‘unprecedented times.’ This scene of floral damask wallpaper and paper furniture are made to be a tragic spectacle through cast storm debris and deliberate deconstruction. When thinking about the sense of security that is associated with a home, we are far too often reminded of how delicate and fragile these structures can be. Yet our culture is slow to admit the frequency that the exterior world infiltrates our perfect spaces in ways that can be as small as an ant or as large as a 13’ tree limb.
The title is a line in Mary Oliver’s poem From the Book of Time.
The Aftermath: Video
I am so pleased to share this video collage of our performance at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s opening weekend in October 2022. The performance was for a full hour and a half and the documentation, though greatly condensed, spans the entirety of the event.
On October 9, 2022 "viewers experienced a moving piece of art as dancers called upon themes reflected in Elizabeth Alexander’s newly installed work 'and you did not even know enough to be sorry.' Blakeney Bullock and Miles Yeung-Tieu moved within Alexander’s site-specific installation to an original soundtrack by Todd Bowser for 90 minutes as that corner of West Building filled with ambient sound and movement.
The performers embodied the great oscillation between immobility and mania that happens inside catastrophic weather events—tightness-holding despair on one side; beauty, relief, release, and mutual aid on the other. The body, like the storm, holds unknowable multitudes and can become a comfortable order or a tragic spectacle. What do these extremes do as characters in a duet? What relationships are created, projected, and witnessed?”
Video by SmARTlab