Napa, California

Perennial is the first of a series of streaming performances created during the 2019-20 Coronavirus pandemic.

Quarantine in Napa, California I look towards the landscape as a means of communion with myself and  others. I perform in private and telecast to an audience online. 

The perennial mustard that spreads itself among cultivated vineyards evoke themes of life and regeneration. I immerse myself in the mustard bloom and sew their petals into my skin. In the midst of disease and isolation there is a desire to fuse one self with another, to be a part of something that is enduring.


Wildflower finds me in a batch of wild radishes. I fill the sleeves of my shirt with the plant, spilling out the cuff like the armature of a scarecrow. I plunge the stems and flowers into the cavity of my shirt. The plant overflows, enveloping my neck, reminiscent of an Elizabethan ruff. Again there is the present desire to merge the body with natural elements. The flowers act as a means of expression, confronting loss and contemplating regeneration.

The performance recalls the celebrated Silueta series of Ana Mendieta, particularly Imagen de Yagul. During the Silueta series, Mendieta looked to the natural landscape to invoke cycles of renewal and the archetype of the divine feminine.
In Imagen de Yagul from the series Silueta Works in Mexico 1973-1977 Ana Mendieta lies in an open Zapotec tomb in Yagul, Mexico. Her nude body covered with white flowers, her face is obscured and the foliage seems to grow from her body. Jane Blocker describes Imagen de Yagul as dealing with the “themes of death and rebirth staged in an earthen, womb-like cavity. Here, the category woman is sanctioned by the first woman, by Mother Earth, by the biology of childbirth.”

1. Blocker, Jane. Where Is Ana Mendieta? Duke University Press, 1999. Pg. 37

Imagen de Yagul, from the series Silueta Works in Mexico 1973-1977, 1973, Ana Mendieta



Eucalyptus is a genus of over seven hundred species of flowering trees, shrubs or mallees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. The non-native Tasmanian blue gum, Eucalyptus globulus, that litter the landscape of Northern California are both revered and detested. The blue gums are epic trees, and have become ubiquitous to the Bay Area where they have thrived in its climatic after being planted for timber and scenery from the 1850s onward. Some environmentalists see them as a fire hazard and poor habitat for native species, while others view them as valuable, and wish to protect them for their cultural and recreational beauty and carbon production. The science for both sides is complicated and often people use varied studies to fit their own narrative. As Emma Marris puts it in her article "The Great Eucalyptus Debate" featured in The Atlantic,"the magnificent Tasmanian blue gum is, in some sense, a prisoner of dueling realities". 

In this performance the Blue Gum is the vocal point of interaction. I embrace the duel realities of its existence. I caress its trunk and highlight its awe-inspiring beauty. I gather and arrange its seedpods, burying as well as unearthing its offspring. I contemplate the double reality of its existence, as it is filter through the lens of live stream. The camera focuses on the splendor of the external reality while the hidden internal narrative is that this majestic Myrtaceae is in conflict. The same battle of realities is woven into what we reveal to the world in opposition to the internal struggle what we keep hidden.

Using Format