A site-specific performance and installation by Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, Claudia La Rocco, Davison Scandrett.
“I just like it; it’s pretty.”
“Taste” started from a conversation around bad and good taste, and the racial, cultural and class issues that inform this thorny discussion.
Why do we continually seek objective refuge as we debate subjective aesthetics?
In keeping with the way we work, the piece is also about a response to space, and in this case, a specific location that represents the cultural infusion and complexity of Miami, a city we come to, on some level, as artistic tourists; we’re invested in this place, and yet it isn’t our native territory.
“Taste” does not exist in a conceptual vacuum; nor is our work a linear or didactic explication of themes; rather its identity is formed by a fluid exploration with and within the layers of context contained in the space it inhabits. More broadly, “Taste” concerns the two of us as objectified performers; dancers, and really any performing bodies, cannot escape fetishization.
What happens when we embrace it?
What does it mean for us to be looked at together—to be held together (or held apart) within the gaze of strangers, intimates, collaborators, critics? To this end, we are working with a series of texts created by Claudia La Rocco.
These interlocking works act variously as interventions, commentaries and critical descriptions, offering comparisons and contrasts of our bodies and movements as they relate to taste and the duet form.
As a cultural critic and a poet, La Rocco is ideally—at times awkwardly—situated to interact with us and the audience from within the piece itself; by making her a part of it, we have implicated her own subjectivity as well.
In addition to these relationships, our ideas will snake through the sounds of 17th Century baroque music, silence, wind, urban chatter, and the human voice amplified through a megaphone.
We will occupy a moveable feast of visual riches, designed in collaboration with Davison Scandrett, and strong costume aesthetics: utilitarian and gaudy, jewels, lace, worksuits and robes, and the reveal of skin, created in collaboration with James Kidd Studio.
Premiere: April 5-6, 2013 at O Miami Poetry Festival, Bas Fisher Invitational Gallery
Performers: Claudia La Rocco, Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, Davison Scandrett
Costumes: James Kidd
"On Taste" The Miami Rail. Claudia La Rocco.