Joya: AiR / Catie Rutledge / USA
“I feel alien and American.”
-Journal entry from Day 2
“In retrospect I can see that part of Joya: AiR was a reckoning with my creative doubt and anxiety. In the span of a week I worked on a watercolor mock-up for costume embroidery, a series of photographs of objects I have been working with in my performances in the surrounding landscape, some very brief planning of a performance I would like to do in a more traditional theatrical setting, and a flag. I was at Joya: AiR during what is now the longest government shutdown in American history, and conversations at dinner every night inevitably turned towards politics. How could they not? Government workers were working without pay, Brexit was a mess, protests were continuing in Paris. By the second day I was thinking about how to make an American flag out of the materials I had brought with me as a way to reckon with the current cultural and political moment. I wound up embroidering a pink satin shirt I had been using in my teenage bedroom performances and attaching it to a long stick I later learned was used to knock almonds out of trees, combining my own symbols with that of Joya’s. I asked Natalia, another resident at Joya, to film me holding the flag in the blustery wind on the last day of my residency. Although I couldn’t see it from the inside, I spent my time at Joya responding to the new place I was in and the new people I was with. It wasn’t a time of energetic, relentless creation so much as a time for digestion, for taking hikes and getting lost, for meeting new people, and for eating delicious food. The time I had at Joya was special: I met artists I plan on staying in contact with and tried things I couldn’t have expected before I arrived. Thanks to Simon, Donna, Lucy, Dayna, Maria, Violeta, Natalia, Jenny, and Mai for everything¨.