A PERFORMANCE BY CIARRA K. WALTERS
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA, 2021
ASSISITED BY ALANNA ROSE
I began Temporary Sculptures in December of 2020. I was inspired by Eva Hesse's documentary, learning about her use of everyday materials in her sculptures -materials that weren't meant to last through time. It was that temporariness that struck me.
For weeks I envisioned myself wrapped in wire. For several months, I tied, wrapped, squeezed, and bent this thick metal wire around my body. I had a desire to be bounded and restricted. The tough metal inflicted pressure on my soft flesh and each time I wrapped that metal around my body it felt different. Each time I performed I didn't understand why I was doing it, but it felt right and it felt like something I needed to do.
As time has gone by and I have let this piece of work live - exist - and as life has pulled me back to Maryland, to support my mother as she battles this awful, awful disease, cancer, and as I crave to rewrap myself in this wire and live in it during this time of stress and grief, I have come to realize the meaning of this series in parts.
I have had an enormous amount of pressure thrown at me in the last two years. Between balancing being a stronger daughter and sister, evolving as an artist, developing and expanding my practice, being a present friend, making money, and rooting myself spiritually, I have felt depleted and frankly, I have felt like I am not enough. This constant struggle of feeling like what I offer is not enough has been the feeling that has wrapped around me and squeezed me until I have a break down - every time.
Temporary Sculptures is materializing and bringing to life that mental and emotional pressure that has suffocated me internally. The metal around my body is the physicality of that internal pressure. This physical pressure has offered space to be in just that - the physical pressure - instead of the internal. As I wrapped myself wishing the frustration, grief, and pressure away, something beautiful came out of it, these temporary sculptures. As my body moved and un-moved within this wire, I have come to realize that my body is the temporary material I have been searching for, like Eva Hesse's materials. This performance, my body, and my feelings, all represent the temporary, as they are all passing moments and not meant to last.
This particular set of photos is the first time I performed Temporary Sculptures in a natural setting. Although this body of work was not included in Desert X, I included myself, (inspired by Yayoi Kusama 1966 performance, Narcissus Garden), performing outside of Eduardo Sarabia's The Passenger. At the time I was in Desert X, my mother was undergoing a major surgery. Clearly running away from my feelings, I ran away to the desert. The first installation I saw was Sarabia's maze. After performing in the maze, looking out into the desert, and watching the sun set, I suddenly became inspired. I pulled that wire out and got to work.
There are many parts to this body of work and a lot of videos and photos, but I'll save that for an in person exhibition.
Until then, I present to you half of my Desert X piece, Temporary Sculptures.