Shared Breath

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photo by Joseph of Windows to Sky

Shared Breath was a performance that took place at The Hive Gallery & Studios in downtown Los Angeles during Downtown LA Art Walk February 7, 2015. For this performance, Michelle Fugate and I positioned ourselves inside a clear acrylic dome placed on a platform in the gallery’s standing room space. Inside the dome, which was knee-high to those passing by, Michelle and I lay in close proximity to each other breathing the same air for over an hour. Within the first ten minutes, precipitation began to form inside the surface of the dome. We began to sweat and our breathing became hard and fast. At thirty minutes, the humidity and lack of oxygen became almost unbearable. We felt exhausted, light-headed and vulnerable as the crowd swarmed around us. Many were concerned about the lack of air. To keep each other from losing consciousness, we clasped hands and whispered words of encouragement. We discussed the shared struggles of women and how our solidarity with one another gives us the strength to fight these injustices, to gradually improve our situation in our search for equality. We continued to breathe, sharing the same recycled air, knowing we held each others’ breath in our lungs. It was one of the most intimate experiences I have ever had with another woman. At the same time, in front of us we had laid out self-made post cards of artwork and photographs depicting two women in various situations: mother and child, sisters, friends, co-workers, tribeswomen, strangers. Via a small plaque we invited gallery goers to write a message to an important woman in their life. Following the performance, we read and then mailed them. My own post card was dedicated to every woman. It read:

“You are stronger than they feel you are. You are wiser than they determine you are. And you are more beautiful than they can ever see. We are responsible and grateful for each other.”

Comfort and Solidarity: Performance by Mirabelle Jones

Photo by Anna Calloway

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Photo by Paul Koudounaris: http://empiredelamort.com/

 

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Photo by Ambrose Gardenhire featured in Beautiful Bizarre

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photo by Joseph of Windows to Sky

 

Photo by Ambrose Gardenhire featured in Beautiful Bizarre

Photo by Ambrose Gardenhire featured in Beautiful Bizarre