Collaboration with Prof. Julianna Preston and David de la Haye.

The performance “murmur” offered care to a wall, a broken relic rendering a breeched boundary. The performance wondered: How does one tend a wall that while eight centuries old, may have out lived its original purpose to keep in and to keep out? What empathy can be extended to stones as geological sediments and material sentiments of the “murus” to persist, still stand? How might the weak yet stalwart body be nursed in light of a resurgence in values that call for edifices and laws towards a practical and symbolic sign of a strong national defense? While allowing for a spectrum of political positions to play out in the performance, our primary objective was to tend to the stone wall as a live material body.

The score prompted gestures of posture, touch, recitation and sound, which offered a range of interpretations and opportunities for interaction with the wall and with other

collaborators. It suggested possibilities for expression and elocution as we practiced care.

The video installation “murmurings” re-visits this performance’s spatial choreography. A video is played on each side of a gallery wall. Sound for both videos is soft, ambient and heard simultaneously from speakers on each side of the wall. Here one is listening to the singing, chanting, humming, laments, scraping, patting, plucking and rubbing of the wall, each gesture arousing the stones from sleep or soothing them to slumber.

Copyright: James Davoll