Introduction Into Assimiland (Fall 2007)
Assimiland is an installation performance piece that speaks to the complicated negotiations of border crossings. These border crossings materialize in identity negotiations, institutional boundaries, rules and regulations. Each level of the performance piece spoke to these complex negotiations. This form of installation and performance art relies upon audience participation as well as the profound performances of each ensemble member. This work benefits students because it asks them not only to question the immigration and institutional systems that guide and govern our nations but to also embody and experience them on a visceral and theoretical level.
The Performance Ensemble performed Assimiland on November 27, 2007. This installation and interactive performance satirically and seriously complicated negotiations of border crossings and assimilation processes as they materialize in identity negotiations, institutional boundaries, rules and regulations. Each level of the performance spoke to these complex negotiations. The bureaucratic shoving around of papers and people attempting to immigrate (enter) played out in the processing center in front of Manzanita Hall with a looped video welcome. The process of assimilation, with its attempts to erase differences between people, occurred in the performance space, our new home, in MZ 217. Each of the audience members became “Jenny.” If you followed the rules, you could enjoy the feast while you listened to a final welcoming by your new leader.
We wanted the audience to not only question the immigration and institutional systems that guide and govern nations but to also embody and experience them on a visceral level. This form of installation and performance art relies upon audience participation and the turnout for the show was amazing. We processed everyone “quickly and painlessly.”
I would like to highlight the work of each member of the ensemble; Liliana Luviano, Bernice Le, Paula Fleischer, Michel Clevering and Frances Zapanta. Not only are they dedicated performers, they are wonderful installation artists as well. Their work transformed the performance ensemble room into a completely new type of home. Each of their performances was profound. Brava!
The ensemble would also like to thank Stephanie Fugleberg, Bruce Walker, Steve Jambor, Kara Smith, Lisa Bower, Elizabeth Currlin, and Alexa Lopez. They stepped into character quickly as the police officers and assimilation processors. I think they may have performed their roles so well that people kept “in line.” We would also like to acknowledge the work of graduate students, Sally Kassamanian and Marisa Garcia-Rodriguez. Undoubtedly, their efforts created the ‘media buzz’ for the show.
Introduction into Assimiland
Performance by Michele Cleverling
Edited by Carly Usdin
Welcome Home Jenny
Performance by Paula Fleischer
Edited by Carly Usdin