Fire in Fire: Prayers for the Ocean, 2016
Fire in Fire: Prayers for the Ocean
December 4th, 2016, noon-3:30pm
Samantha Gray, Travis Laplante, Sarah H. Paulson
Fire in Fire: Prayers for the Ocean is dedicated to the ocean.
Samantha Gray and Sarah H. Paulson bathe themselves in thousands of rose petals. Through their continuous immersions into piles of reds and pinks, accompanied by Travis Laplante’s masterful use of the saxophone to emit cascades of sound, each petal becomes a letter, a prayer, a love note, from the heart of the performer to the ocean.
Each year tons of people flock to Miami for Miami Art Week. It is a time of creativity, opulence, celebration, debauchery, activism, education, criticism, art, addiction, performance, traffic, waste, self-expression, business, music and more. It is a week that is full of both beauty and horror.
Fire in Fire serves to remind viewers, the performers, and the artist alike, about the importance of place. The ocean is ceaseless, calling to us, singing, crashing, reaching, available, regardless of what stands on its shore or is discarded into its waters. Fire in Fire: Prayers for the Ocean is but a breath, from the shore, in response to that constant call.
With the help of audience members, moxa* is burned through the center of silk handkerchiefs, one after another. Rose petals are wrapped in the burnt handkerchiefs and given to individuals from the audience, with the agreement that they will release the petals into the ocean.
Below is a plea from the artist to herself:
Please do not forget the ocean. Please do not forget the Earth. Please do not forget her rivers…or her tears…or her magic. Please do not forget. Please do not forget the love note that each piece of art is, beyond the paint, beyond the canvas, beyond the idea, beyond the artist, beyond the hand, beyond the eye. Please perform with this in your heart. Please perform with all of your heart.
Do not forget the Earth, and do not forget her ocean.
*Moxa, dried mugwort, is burned on acupuncture points. Paulson’s teacher, Laura Stelmok, describes moxa as a gift from the Earth.
Review of the performance by Steven Butz in Incident Magazine