Woman Hanging Wash was my first performance for the Beginning Performance class I took at MECA with Ling-Wen Tsai in fall 2003. I've posted video stills from two other performances that I did for this class (see Primary Dream and Someone's First Thought). Ling-Wen had use of a window space on High Street in Portland and told us that we had to do our first performance in this window. All three of my performances featured clotheslines and projected images. In Woman Hanging Wash I dressed as my paternal grandmother, in a 30's house dress. There was a basket of white diapers that I first hung on the line, then took down, then hung on the line again. I did this for twenty minutes while a series of slides of me as a young mother and my children as babies was projected into the window from the street. The shifting images appeared on my back, on the diapers, and on the wall behind the clothesline, and my shadow added still another layer of pictorial information. This piece speaks of being a mother, of time passing, of aging and becoming a grandmother. It also speaks of generations of women doing the same simple and repetitive tasks that are involved in being a caregiver, tasks so key to our well being as to be considered holy.
Photographs from Woman Hanging Wash, 2003
performed in a storefront window on High Street, Portland, ME