Snake Struck was a performance that took place at the end of 2013.
It was the answer to a plea that surfaced when I realized that my sketchbooks and work had become increasingly overwhelmed by cages. Cages in all forms: raccoon traps, nets, a saga titled “The Captive Lady Ballet” and bars stamped on top of eyes, mouths, landscapes, and fleeing women.
Of course, in a country where incarceration has devastated the lives of so many, and where very real cages are used as a brutal means of enforcing systematic oppression, the cages that haunted me were comparatively small, shifty and phycological.
Even so, they demanded an escape plan, or more so a demolition plan.
Around that time I dreamt of being naked fighting off a shiny king cobra, trying to keep it's slippery body caught between the soles of my feet.
And so entered the serpent, with all it's loaded analogies, symbols, myths and metaphors. Including my favorite, the giant, elegant serpent who bites it's own tail, churning the ocean of time as Vishnu sits in ultimate stillness on its back.
For the performance, I found Jade, a five foot boa constrictor, through a long string of friends of friends, after multiple failed, “Artist Seeks Snake”, craigslist attempts.
It took three hours for her movements to black out the two years worth cage making.