Ellipses are the three dots “…” showing that something has been omitted from a larger text.
The Ellipses project consists of video, performance and archival research, inspired by the state of Connecticut’s recent rebranding slogan, “CT, Still Revolutionary.” The project involves working with women from urban Connecticut to examine the duplicitous nature of state messaging about who is considered to be a leader, a follower or an enemy. A 2015-16 chapter created in Waterbury CT, where I am from, concerned the life of Carrie Welton, a wealthy, gender non-conforming late 19th Century mountain climber who fought and gained the right for women to manage the capital required to run businesses.
For that iteration, I lead a summer seminar for young women to interview and photograph contemporary female activists working with environmental, labor and criminal justice issues. I filmed them conducting a series of performance interventions in locations related to Welton’s life. These included a women parkouring through Welton’s former home turned juvenile detention center for girls; singing a requiem in her father’s former brass factory, and performing musical Morse code messages in the defunct newspaper which had printed salacious art articles about her.
The work presented at the Mattatuck Museum in 2016 included projected performance video, installation of related objects and activists’ portraits hung on a false wall in the Museum’s portrait gallery facing images of former industrialists named Kellogg, Chase and Firestone. I produced an accompanying publication with essays concerning counter publics, Other spaces, forensic architecture, and the relevance of science fiction to social action.
For the current iteration of the project called No Such Place as America, I am collaborating with Patricia Kelly, the Founder of Ebony Horsewomen, and local law enforcement in Hartford CT to create a series of performance workshops using equine therapy to facilitate non-verbal communication and conflict management.
Contemporary social advocates featured in the project’s portrait series:
Fatima Rojas, spokesperson for Unidad Latina en Accion
Barbara Fair, Secretary of the Greater New Haven American Civil Liberties Union
Patricia Kelly, Founding Director of Ebony Horsewomen, Hartford
Carol Burkhart-Lyons, Founding Director of the Naugatuck Valley Project, Waterbury
Joyce Petteway, Chair of the Greater Waterbury NAACP Education Committee