Movement artist, poet and healer Consuelo Gonzalez will be doing a performance meditation “Remembrance and Forgetting” tonight at Downtown Park, Bellevue, at the Formal Gardens in the northeast corner of the park, from 5-8pm, as part of Mandy Greer’s “A Great Unbridgeable Distance”. She will also return —if it doesn’t rain— on WED SEPT 19th. During her meditation, Fallow Collective will be non-verbally guiding visitors — who want to— to stitch onto ever expanding Nothingness Baskets, a form that came about as a personal coping mechanism for how to manage my own travels through dark internal places. The baskets are a place to compassionately sit with your own darkness, troubles and hidden concerns, and let them rest or leave them behind in the black hole baskets.
Formal Gardens (northeast corner of Bellevue Downtown Park)
10201 NE 4th St, Bellevue, WA 98004
As with all the performances, Bring a blanket, bring a picnic, rest, move, come and go as you please, participate or just watch.
See the full schedule of performances here
Anyone is invited to assemble around the rough hewn elm tables, and rest on the communally hand-woven indigo rugs, in this space held for contemplation and learning through hand-work. Together we’ll seek for a sense of place and history in our internal and external landscapes, making peace with our darkness both personally and societally, and pay homage to remembrances of the sweetness of life and the hard work of turning to the light.
Consuelo’s movement forms will pull from a well of personal poetic language, sensing the energy of the site and environment, and interpreting and expanding on dramaturgical research I brought to her as my own responses to the layered histories embedded in the land of Downtown Park, asking questions through movement, ‘what does healing and recuperation look like?’. When can we forget and when can we never forget?
Downtown Park, particular to downtown Bellevue, seems to retain small clues to a sense of history and remembrance, unlike the rest of the dominant image of ‘New'. The central sentinel elms in the center of the park, planted in 1920 as a memorial to lost boys to war, the memorial benches decorated by families with flowers and garlands, the hidden plaque remembering the exile of Bellevue citizens of Japanese descent on May 20, 1942. Many quiet voices of memory, Consuelo will be teasing out and mixing with her own.
She’ll be inhabiting a Guide for Forgetting and Remembrance, covered in layers of tattered silk poppy fabric. Growing out of an earlier character I developed on a residency in Normany France, studying the memorials of war, the guide is a midwife of sorts covered in layers of decaying poppy flowers, to deal with grief, loss of a child, loss of purpose, but also something larger than that; the complex dance between forgetting and remembrance that the human spirit goes through to survive loss. There is so much devastation around us, the world is full of brokenness at all times, how could any of us go on without a little forgetting.
This guide inhabits the duality of meaning of the poppy, both a dominant image in remembrance of losses by war, but also an older connection with forgetting, with a connection to the hypnotic sleep of opiates, as the ancient Greeks portrayed the divinities Hypnos (Sleep), Nyx (Night), and Thanatos (Death) wreathed with poppies. The goddess Demeter was said to eat poppies to forget the loss of her daughter and fall asleep. The Greeks regarded it as magic or poison, used as medicine and in religious rites.
It seem some things are too much to bear, but societal forgetting is dangerous and cultural forgetting in the form of erasure and forced assimilation is reprehensible destruction.
Each night, during their time at the tables, the Guide’s ultimate goal is to nurture wellbeing — for visitors and particularly for themselves also— while enacting their durational tasks; to be responsive, compassionate, and aim to take risks and follow impulses. We will be Guides to help people practice quiet, productive, open-ended companionship — making space for unexpected companions.
More soon about the Nothingness Baskets…..come work on some tonight.