By Lorrie Fredette
It is the nature of performance art that each iteration will be unique. Remnants: Hour Upon Hour by Rena Leinberger and Thomas Albrecht at Woodstock Artists Association & Museum on Sunday, 16 September 2018 was distinctive and captivating.
Hard work. Physical work. Easy work. Busy work. Work pace. Accidental work. Work as a marker of time. Each are hyper visible in a hybrid space of a digitized green screen back drop meets black box – theater meets construction zone in a deconstructed, contemporary, and historical Hudson Valley type landscape. The objects in “Remnants” may appear as cast offs, but they are deeply rooted in theory, history, theater, and social practice.
The visible and purposeful performance actions were intensified as many of the physical movements were amplified by sound. The thud sounds of hammering a good size nail into wood and the crinkling sound of cellophane mark each step within the defined workspace.
Work paces fluctuated between slow mindfulness to the rituals of art studio work – step back, look. Repeat. The physicality in the performance included the arrangement, re-arrangement, and disregard of prop-like items. Each object carried such weight whether in the physical act of moving it, its metaphoric connotations or its historical ties.
At some point in the performance, the audience realized the absurdity of the actions, and their cumulative outcomes as a result of conflicts. In it we see ourselves. We see our culture.
WAAM will host a third and final performance of Remnants: Hour Upon Hour on Sunday, 7 October 2018.
Lorrie Fredette is an art maker located in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley. She roams the local terrain in search of conversations with other artists.