Jenna Macy

Dry Spell
(noun): A period of arid weather. A calendrical break from intimacy. A lapse of love. 

I have found that most humans hold on either too tightly or too loosely to that which we feel intimate towards - a push or pull dynamic that reflects an unstable relationship with power and control. Sand is the ideal teacher in this regard, as it can only be held with a touch that is both firm and relaxed or else it slips through the crevices of one’s fingers. 

Engaging in a performance-based research of the properties of sand and the survival mechanisms of desert chameleons, I was able to begin a journey of learning this lesson in intimacy from natural phenomena. Dry Spell is an exhibition of video performances and sculptural objects that engage with the perceived language of natural phenomena in the desert. Deepest Darkest Seacret II-Master of Disguise (2020) is about “communicating” a secret in the shifting sands using a sculptural soundwave tool fabricated from a recording of me whispering a secret. Learning to Not Drown (2021) is about “healing” a bruise by changing the color of a ceramic sculpture with the heat of my body. Both performances are edited to popular nature documentary soundtracks, in ways that open up the questions about human intimacy during this isolated time and place through an imagined lens of reverse anthropomorphism. By stretching the imagination about what intimate actions are and how they manifest, this exhibition challenges not only my personal understanding of intimacy but what I perceive as a larger cultural dry spell - the historical and ongoing devaluation of intimacy in Western culture.

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Deepest Darkest Secret

Deepest Darkest Secret II - Master of Disguise (2020)

video performance, greensuit, cast glass, found rake
videography: Kavon Hooshiar
soundtrack: Singing Sand Dunes National Geographic, recorded sand avalanche booms
performance, editing: Jenna Macy
location: Paiute land(Southwest Utah), Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Learning to Not Drown (2021)

video performance, cast and fired ceramic, thermochromic paint
videography: Kavon Hooshiar, Jenna Macy
soundtrack: Keeping Cool BBCFour
performance, editing: Jenna Macy
location: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Paiute Land(Southwest Utah) 

Learning to Not Drown interactive installation view
performed by: Nanea Lum, Ava Fedorov

All exhibition photographs by Chris Rohrer @thunderhug

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