Hair: the performance

2017 summer intensive

This is an hour-long performance on the second-last day of the Reconsidering Reconciliation artist residency. We posted an earlier clip, but this is the real deal thanks to videographer Gabe Archie. Powerful viewing.

And here is David Garneau’s response to this performance, a poem he read at the closing of the residency.

2 Responses to Hair: the performance

  1. Ashok Mathur says:

    David Garneau wrote this intimate poem in response to the Hair performance.

    light on this earth
    so light on this earth
    that he needs stones to weight him down
    heart-sized grandfathers
    rock fists adopted burdens
    heavy for the light
    He might also rise if not for coloured threads
    bloodlines, songlines and long black hairs
    binding in every direction to all our relations

    drawn to trauma
    drawn hair lines
    painful renderings
    stain messages addressed through the flesh
    in black blood to the bone soul
    take it take it take it
    upon yourself
    face it
    smear graphite violence
    tears tear
    take it take it take it

    drum witness
    drum witness
    drum witness

    rapid beating
    hearts contract
    hearts contract
    with relations
    to remember

    she cut her hair, her hair, her beautiful hair
    black and straight
    so like theirs so like
    theirs, cut by cutters inured to their own shorn desires
    prickling beneath constricting wimples
    these already birthed children cut to be born again
    Christ’s brides’ crude means of reproduction

    feeling symmetry?
    a need to requite rather than reconcile?

    she cut her hair, her hair, her beautiful hair
    washed and dried in to a loving melody
    present present present
    sacrifice shaped as a gift
    take it take it take it

    feeling that might have flooded into rage
    channeled by ritual, sympathetic magic
    streaming the moment through the past
    beyond her our selves
    an empathetic present

    the rock channel is not carved by words
    but by caressing winds, soothing drops,
    patient current
    the cold heart is not opened by rhetoric
    but by proximity to warmth

    reconsidering reconciliation as care
    as relentless warming, caressing, flowing
    gentle pressures, empathetic gestures
    art as indirect action repetition seduction
    songs not to convince but to show
    beautiful disciplines:
    picturing, weaving, doing
    braiding mountain grass into thick hair
    singing us into the land’s rhythm

    before we go
    let us again smell the sage winds
    where the willow weeps
    not far, they say,
    from the center of the universe

  2. Pingback: Truth and Reconciliation Through Art | BCcampus

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