writing by wynne greenwood
so when the kitchen asked me to do this residency, i immediately thought what does it mean for me, a feminist lesbian artist, to take up room? i wasn't socialized to do that, to take up half of the subway bench, to ask the room to shape to my voice. my voice was supposed to shape to the spaces it was given. and then i was offered this really huge space and time w/ a friend to shape a room that would shape to my voice, to make bodies that would sit next to my body that could dialogue with me about how we're taking up room together, and how exactly we are sitting, standing, and moving around in that space.
the past year of touring w/ my band tracy + the plastics was getting harder and harder. to be constantly trying to figure out a new way to talk to the same body, the audience body. To re-negotiate the space between us, a space that began to feel built in, inherent, and unmoveable. When i first started performing w/ this project, the political act was taking the space of the stage w/ myself, my friends, my politics, my ideals, my social histories.
as i began to be offered spaces, stages, and room, i had to take responsibility for what i was doing in them. i asked myself questions in those places, often stopping the video performance half-way through to ask them out loud in front of the audience. a relationship began in those paused spaces, those interruptions. i demanded responsibility and presence from myself and from my audience. and in the past year of touring, being gone from my house, being in one town for one night, away from family and friends, the stage became my closest place. my home. and in my home i need safety and trust. two things ROOM was built with.
the first time me and fawn actually went to the kitchen together to look at the space we stayed there for hours. as we moved around the empty second floor we felt out the room we would build. we walked through our imagined space: here would be a hill that would have seats in it, here would be a cut out in the floor to step down into, here the audience and performer will sit together. months later, as the building finished, we wondered how would people walk into the room. where will they sit, how will they move around? now i also wonder how the inside of the room will move outside. i mean, will you sit on the subway like the edge of your couch, looking at the stranger next to you like your sister. and what could this shifting, this room mean for our world?
and i met with christina today, who is an intern at the kitchen. we were
talking about her being an attendant for the installation and she asked,
"what if people think i'm part of it?" i paused. "you are
a part of it." that's what fawn and i want, and that's what we've
felt. that everyone who has come into ROOM has become part of it. part
of the feminist work space, part of a collaboration between two young
women artists, part of an expanding history of radical and queer punk
activism and art. so thanks to everyone who stopped by.