Tethered

Tethered, 2020

Installation, Sculpture, Performance, Film 

Materials: Materials: Concrete, & Hand-me-down clothing, Filmed projection

Tethered, is a sculpture about the importance of relationships. My sister is two years older that I am and we are very close. I always received her hand-me-downs growing up. I wanted to find a way to demonstrate the connection that siblings or close loved-ones share, as well as the nurturing act of being clothed by another’s previously worn clothing. Hand-me-downs carry with them the history of the previous wearer, as the smell of their body and detergent lingers within the threads. I have quite a large collection of hand-me-downs from my sister and mother, and I often think about the nurturing act that passing on worn clothing to another person embodies, this act of clothing another. 

The sculpture consists of two large boulders attached to each other through a braided strand of hand-me-down clothing. The boulders are created similarly to a jawbreaker candy, with knotted clothing and concrete repeatedly layered on top of another to form a collective mass. Each boulder is extremely heavy to move, and it is very difficult to move the sculpture without the help from another person. Without the progression of both boulders moving forward, neither will advance. This is a representation of a close relationship or how one needs a connection with another human to grow and advance through life. The layers of cloth and concrete resemble time—as time goes on, more layers are added. As the boulders roll throughout the filmed performance, crumbs of concrete fall off, exposing the layers below, revealing the past memories embodied within the boulders. 

 

The boulders stand at a distance that is close enough for the people rolling the boulders to touch hands, maintaining the importance of physical contact in a relationship. My filmed performance with the sculpture consists of me attempting to roll the boulders along a path, exposing the difficulties with various turns, hills, and valleys that occur as obstacles along the way. At times, it seems that I have a rhythm of how to advance on my own, however it soon becomes very apparent how difficult it is to take this journey alone. The need for another’s help is apparent in the struggle and demonstrated throughout the performance.