SHELTER (2012)

Featured Long Durational Work

Shelter (2012), Longva+Carpenter 

Duration: Six hours

Text by Longva+Carpenter
Cover photograph by Kaci Smith

As the third performance in the Needs Series (after Hunger and Thirst), Shelter explores notions of protection, comfort and restraint. One woman sits at a solid table, piled high with pea-sized stones. She considers, perhaps counts, and drops each one to the ground. A second woman, with a similar, heavy table and chair strapped to her back, attempts to drag an overflowing bag of stones across the length of the gallery. Both women have identical materials—table, chair, 100 yards of white rope, a black cloth bag and 400 pounds of stone—but each connects to the materials individually. The women also wear mirrors around their necks that demand that they face themselves as they perform these seemingly senseless, endless, yet poignant, tasks. 

Photograph by Devin Henry

Photograph by Devin Henry

Longva+Carpenter is a collaborative partnership with Norwegian multi-media artist Terese Longva and US performance/installation artist Laurel Jay Carpenter. As interdisciplinary artists, Longva+Carpenter share interests in site, duration and the accumulation of action. After meeting in Western New York, the pair has been collaborating to present new works that manipulate the body and time in their investigation of personal longings, feminist ideologies and political urgencies.

Longva+Carpenter’s Needs Trilogy, consisting of the durational performance/ installations Hunger, Thirst and Shelter has been exhibited at the Bergen International Festival (Festspillene i Bergen) in Norway; Big Orbit Gallery in Buffalo, NY; Microscope Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn; and Rochester Contemporary Art Center in Rochester, NY. The artists have presented their work in lectures at Alfred University, The University of Northern Iowa and at Ålesund Art School. The Needs Trilogy is also documented in the annual Emergency Index, Journal of New Performance, for both 2011 and 2012. This summer, L+C will be performing at NOoSPHERE Arts in NYC, Contexts: the Festival of Ephemeral Art in Sokolowsko, Poland, and Between Sky + Sea international performance festival at Herdla Island in Norway. Longva+Carpenter's website can be found here.