Trans-Versing Sites: Standing Rock/Spiral Jetty
A Conversation with Frances Richard
Trans-Versing: adjective; situated or extending across something.
Trans-Versing Sites: Standing Rock / Spiral Jetty is a two channel audio installation aiming to build conversations surrounding intersectionality between marginalized bodies and the spaces they move through.
The Project Space at Hubbell Street Galleries is an attempt to re-situate our personal experience and encounters of the two spaces, asking where things transverse and overlap while generating conversations around vulnerable bodies and erased histories. Universal freedom of equality as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, that “all men were created equal” proves to be contrary. The politics of reclamation appeal to the rights promised. The of voices from those excluded reveal the problematic nature of such a proclamation while fighting for not only the importance of our bodies but our histories.
In November 2016, we drove to the Standing Rock protest site in North Dakota to bring provisions to the water protectors. The footage from Standing Rock was recorded on the night of November, 20th 2016, the most violent night in the history of the movement.
A roadblock of a half-burnt truck blocked the bridge north of the Oceti Sakowin ‘Water Protector’ camp, and emergency vehicles were not able to access the camp. Three weeks passed with the protesters asking for the removal of the truck. Government inaction lead the protestors to attempt to remove the roadblock themselves. Viewed as an act of defiance by the police, November 20th became a war zone.
That evening police engaged the protesters with rubber bullets, tear gas, compression grenades, other high-frequency sound devices and water cannons. It was 20 degrees. Hypothermia, facial lacerations, hand wounds, and other minor injuries caused 200-300 people to need medical help that night. Two camp elders went into cardiac arrest from tear gas. The most traumatic was a woman who lost her arm after being shot with a tear gas canister.
Gayly Forward (TRANSVERSING Spiral Jetty)
Gayly Forward was inspired when Jamee found a 45-pound piece of steel a mile and half off the coast of Spiral Jetty. Although they tried to carry the load alone, they couldn’t. Only when the steel was sat on the ground and pushed could there be any real movement forward. However, that was also extremely tiring; continually roadblocked by water, and salt shards. Only when Prima offered to share in the weighted burden was there any real movement forward.
We invite you to remove the roadblocks. By collectively removing obstacles we can continue to take our movements and histories forward.