Widowsweave is an awareness raising series of performances highlighting the conditions of Iraqi Widows who often struggle to acquire even basic necessities such as clean water or adequate shelter. Through artistic durational activities the artist and public participants mark 3,000,000 lines representing the number of Iraqi widows from 30 years of war, tyranny and sanctions.


Kevin Valentine will have three new pieces in the Faculty Show at North Central College, Naperville. The reception is April 8th, from 6-8

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Widows - Take 5 update

Thursday will be the next performance of the new indoor version of this piece. There will be projected video of up to three ghosts of myself projected on the actual wall and chalkboard. My live self will enter when the video me steps off to the side. At first I will do an opposite action (walk right when the video walks left) then I will copy the action as closely as I can. After about two minutes, I will try to complete as many lines as possible using the box of chalk, until the video ends. When the video ends, it should be completely black in the room while I continue to chalk.
Then all sound will stop, and the lights will slowly come up, if I have time to render a new ending.

This piece gets more emotional, or rather stays emotional, as I continue to find new symbolic ways to represent the feelings I am portraying - those of despair, loneliness, memory, grace, beauty. The ghosting of the live performer lends an eerie echo to the elegiac aspect of the work, while symbolizing the hollowness of widowhood. The nature of the act of tallying three million squares translates the loss into the ineffable silent ritual, punctuated only with the screeching chalk and the occasional fallen piece. The dualities seem more evident, as I am tallying both the widows and the lost men, remembering the loss and honoring the living, highlighting the neglect as I smudge out layers of chalk representing thousands of individuals.

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