©2019 Sarah Ashkin

no grounds, 2018
PASEO Festival, Taos, NM

How has white supremacy served as a method and a motivation for land appropriation in the United States? Through this evening-length series of choreographed movements, no grounds explores the marking of territory, the negotiation of land rights, and the complexities of safety, security, and ownership. Aided by the participation of audience members, no grounds is a scored performance that holds space for productive tension in its address of people’s relationship to property.  

no grounds is a durational performance experiment performed at the PASEO Festival 2018, a full scale annual outdoor international media arts festival.

The work was commissioned by curator Erin Elder for her guest curatorial project, We are All Time in Space,  a collection of four site-responsive works that acknowledge the complexities of coexistence with each other and the land including the work of Winter Count, Christine Howard Sandoval, and Anaïs Duplan. 

  • performance by: SARAH ASHKIN

  • sound by: DANIEL OBZEJTA

  • music by: HAROLD BUDD, DARK STAR

  • design by: GARY ASHKIN

 

GUIDING QUESTIONS:

 

What does it mean to be a white person living in the United States and claim a place-based identity?  How does the discourse of white ownership, belonging, and home intersect with histories of colonialism, genocide, slavery, the reservation system? How can I as a white woman from New Mexico practice accountability for my body in space? How do I uncover the meaning of my body in the place where I was born? What work must I do to learn the histories of the land under my feet so that I might tread there with knowing and care? What happened in Taos, New Mexico? How does the story of Blue Lake present an allegory for the violence of white land ownership?  How can use my platform as a white artist to take accountability for the history of white bodies like mine upon this land? How can I position my body as the problem (George Yancy, 2012)?


 

NORTHERN NEW MEXICO NATIVE JUSTICE RESOURCES: 

 

TAOS PUEBLO FOUNDATION - Donations straight to the Blue Lake Wilderness Area

http://taospueblo.com/taos-pueblo-foundation/

 

TEWA WOMEN UNITED- Justice Organization led by and for Native Women of Northern New Mexico

http://tewawomenunited.org/

 

ALL PUEBLO COUNCIL OF GOVERNORS - Cultural Protection Organization https://www.apcg.org/

 

SANTA FE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION NATIVE JUSTICE PROJECTS - portfolio of a wide variety of initiatives for native equity throughout Northern New Mexico

https://www.santafecf.org/document.doc?id=571

 

BROKEN BOXES PODCAST- Podcast produced out of Santa Fe, New Mexico by Ginger Dunhill centering the voices of indigenous artists.  

http://www.brokenboxespodcast.com/