Devised and Performed by Sara Anjo and Shelley Etkin
Performed in Porch Extended, 17th of Nov, at Studio Nicolescu, Berlin.
Link for the video here
This piece, Strip Trees, is coming out of a collaboration between Sara Anjo and Shelley Etkin, which began at Ponderosa in the Summer of 2013. This residency led to the premiere of a site-specific performance journey entitled Wanderlust. The performance was to be experienced on a woodland path at dawn, inviting audiences to enter the field of possibility and bring awareness to the walk while searching for another reality. The experience was guided with the help of several tree-performers. Reflecting on this process, we developed Strip Trees as a further extraction of themes relating to nature, women, and consumption.
In Strip Trees, the duet plays with materials that directly relate to questions of sustainability and consumerism through contradiction. The shopping cart, typically used as a tool for consumerism, is taken as a home for the female tree-performer. The typewriter, which actively wastes paper, offers a rhythmically base for a distorted speech adapted from performance artist Annie Sprinkle's piece "Forty Reasons why Whores are my Heroes." The action in the piece draws attention to the dependence on stripping trees for paper in contemporary society.
Additionally, the piece deals with the consumption and exoticizing of women's bodies. Historically, women have been essentialized to be aligned with nature. We are interested in perverting the relationship between women and nature in society by distorting this speech about sex workers to one about trees. Through verbal, written, and physical expression a metamorphosis occurs. The tree-performer is revealed as human and female and a clean stage is cluttered by remnants of branches and pages.