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This film will be available throughout the run of the Seattle Design Festival!
Team Members: Sarah Lisette Chiesa, Terence Chiesa (father), Aaron Chiesa (VFX artist), Julia Chiesa (sister) of Moving Violations
Throughout the past six months, the world has dealt with one of the most sad and discouraging periods in our history. A capitalist society’s values illustrate a consistent doing, building, making, going, going, going, and continuing to succeed; often leaving very little time to think or contradict. Time, for Americans, is not valued as a way to improve mental, physical, and ethical stability or the human being. In this moment of uncertainty, I believe that change must be developed by focusing inwardly, inside ourselves. Maybe then inside the negative space of our form, we can create and build changes that support our well-being and embrace wholeness. Things fall apart to be rebuilt and if we understand ourselves and what we need, we can create an empty space within us to understand others and other’s needs.
Yolanda DID was a work live performance installation created in 2016 that used this idea of abandoning our bodies external form to expose what is inside this vessel and convey our real identity. This work emphasizes the importance of humility and freedom of expression as human beings. Throughout the work, the performers wear their plaster cast bodies as an armor or a façade. As the performers physically enter and leave the body casts, they expose their inner self unbound by fear or judgment that has been embedded by society.
In order to achieve this state of vulnerability a certain amount of isolation is required. The work was created in a large cave in Rosendale New York, that was used to excavate cement for the construction of the base Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. This historic site represents a long past of building structures that are supposed to symbolize justice, health, freedom, success but also represent manipulation, possession, displacement, and fear. For a week straight, both the performers and I worked building the movement and the score inside the quarter-mile-long cave. Throughout the process, it was important for the performers to work on various tasks pertaining to the architecture of the space, sounds, concept, and with the body casts for long periods completely alone. I felt that the best way to portray the power of the self and the act of self-examination through performance was to create a work inside a space that is desolate and naturally uninhabited by humans but is equally important to humans.
The film is not a recording of the live performance. It was created separately by two camera persons for the twelve-hour shoot with the intention to be projected virtually as an exhibit. This particular film promotes change, self-awareness, kinesthetic approach to design and architecture through dance, encourages collaborative artistic process, promotes alternative spaces for arts performance and education, and develops intricate relationships between dance, visual art, poetry, and film.
Inspiration: This work was heavily influenced by artist Bruce Nauman’s body casts as topographies of negative space from the 1960s.