The following performance was done in the Eastern Sierra Mountains and Los Angeles on April 6-7 2014.
The Passage of Water.
An ecological pilgrimage by Caara Fritz-Hunter and Honi Ryan.
Two women converse online, creating a text written over email responding to the domestic use of water, and how we can conserve water in our everyday lives. Parts of the dialogue are taken from existing environmental action content and parts of it are personal responses to these ideas, facts, provocations and statistics.
Before meeting, Caara sets up a display at the World Water Event in Bishop, California. Projected onto the backdrop of lightweight white fabric is the black and white image of a Paiute woman’s face, tears falling in reverse. Traveling up her weathered face a map of the Owen’s watershed drying up on her cheeks and then the imagery is of a healthy watershed bringing color back into her cheeks. She is a powerful image of human wrought climate change and a better outcome. In front of the backdrop is a fabric draped podium with a clear glass of water on it. The interactions of people walking by could be filmed and interspersed in the video.
A month later (filmed)
We meet at a Mono Lake at the intake of Rush Creek. We fill a glass vessel with water from life spring.
We take the glass vessel with us on a journey to Los Angeles, following the path the water takes to reach most of the people it nourishes. Along the way we stop periodically and perform heartbeat conversations in the landscape (pictured above). At other times, we converse and develop a 5 minute dialogue based around the ensuing drought in California, and the domestic use of water during a dry spell. Honi will draw from her memories of growing up in drought in Australia, and Caara will apply her environmental research.
We arrive in Los Angeles to a space where there is a large scale projection of the first people of this land, (by permission of Native Americans) switches from a young man to an old man. Caara and Honi stand before the projection on either side of it and take it in turns to recite the text they have developed on the journey, voice for voice, statistic for statistic, idea for idea, feeling for feeling, memory for memory. Between each exchange we cross the stage and pour the water from one vessel to the other in each other’s hands, crossing the screen as we go, taking it in turns to speak aloud.
We do not spill a drop.
We sit on the floor together. Half of that water in each of our vessels.
We have 8 smaller clear glass jars laid out in front of us in a line connecting us in the middle of the room. We divvy the water up into small portions across the 8 jars.
In one I clean my teeth.
In another she washes her face.
In one she washes a dish
In another I wash a shirt
In one I make a cup of tea
In another she mixes bread
Jar for jar we move from opposite sides of the stage until we are both in the centre where we take the final two jars and sit, and side by side we drink the water.