Thursday, October 20, 2011

pink; (untitled performance) pink tube

Chicago based performance duo Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger have been making work together since they starting dating in 1994.  Whilst doing some research on this duo, I came across a work they did where they held each other in a naked embrace and waited to be sunburnt in this position. As I read it, I imagined the couple lying down in the embrace on a sandy beach, waiting for the sun to do it's thing, but instead, I came across images of them standing, between two vertical sunbeds and for a period of 45 minutes. Hmmm. Not as romantic as I would have liked to see :0(

Untitled Performance (Pink Tube) is an ongoing work the couple began in 2003 and is performed at various locations. Miller describes their collaborative performance as "a matter of fact" which I agree with and love. This work is not about heterosexuality nor homosexuality it is simply about the connection to another human being we either have, had have or crave to have, matter of fact.

In this work, the couple knit to be connected, yet knit away from each other at the same time. It's a work that reflects on the opposing forces of love between couples; love and loss, life and death, connection and separation, etc.

I really do like watching lovers create works together. The dynamics between the two performers and the resulting works are always powerful, whether the couple is heterosexual or homosexual. An understanding of human connectivity crosses all boundaries and is a pleasure to see.

You can read a great article on this work here, see photos of Untitled Performance (Pink Yarn) here, which documents the yarn travelling from Miller to Shellaberge and more of the couple's dynamic practice here.

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