Multi channel video installation, performance, text, sculpture and photography, 2018
Operation Tumbleweed chronicles the migration and movement of a kidnapped Tumbleweed along the Mexican-American border. An icon of the American West, tumbleweeds, in their natural state, roll freely through their environment, and are emblematic of the freedom, expanse and borderlessness of the desert landscape. The performance, letters, video and installation envisions the Tumbleweed as an archetypal character that represents mobility and imperviousness to fixed locations and identities. The Tumbleweed is ripped from its natural state and forced inside a protective box that is carried, driven, and shipped in a canoe along the Rio Grande River. The Character who kidnaps Tumbleweed does so with the misplaced intention to protect, but also to possess it. Through the absurdity of kidnapping and imprisoning a plant only to invest large amounts of labor to move the object, the work explores the tensions between movement and containment, mobilities and immobilities, control and freedom, and the agency and arbitrariness of borders.
Locations include Midland Odessa, Marfa, Presidio, Valentine, Fort Davis, McDonald Observatory, Rio Grande, Big Bend National Park, Dallas, Austin, Laredo ( - all Texas), Ojinaga (Mexico), Baton Rouge (Lousiana), New Orleans (Lousiana), Gulf Port, Biloxi, Moss Point (Mississippi), Mobile, (Alabama), Pensacola (Florida). Performance includes canoeing the Rio Grande and walking two border towns in Mexico and Texas. Shot on the Nikon D850, Go Pro 6, 4-way toy camera and old Iphone.
Operation Tumbleweed stars Tumbleweed and Katie Smither and was supported by Amy Bowman-McElhone, Leland Dyer, Sarah Hersey, Caleb Jagger, Ian Lewis, Dina & Clarke Light-Mcneely, Fieldwork Marfa, Sara Melancon, C Y Moyse and Ida Soulard. Thank you to everyone for your help and time.
Commissioned by the Pensacola Museum of Art, Florida. First exhibited at the PMA in 'Stone's Throw: On Borders, Boundaries and the Beyond' a group exhibition with Candice Breitz, Jaime Carrejo, Paul Valadez, Joshua Edwards, Skye Gilkerson, Ana Hušman, Yari Ostovany, Carlos Rolón, Lala Raščić September 2018 -February 2019.