When my friend Olympia Bukkakis asked me to perform as part of her show FANCY at Ludwig in January, I got really excited. I love the word, and the idea of, fancy. To me, it's something that is dressy but not necessarily formal; something suggestive of cocktail parties and carefree, laughter-filled evenings; something that takes effort but omits an aura of ease and self-assurance. It's a word one of my girlfriends would say to me when I got dressed up: in a very specific tone, full of little-kid awe and grown-up attraction, she would say, You look fancy. I knew that was a compliment, especially from someone who took pride in dirty fingernails and 10-year-old t-shirts. And it was her voice - both affirming and aroused - that went through my head as I began creating my piece for FANCY.
And also - the inauguration.
This performance was on January 25, less than a week after Trump's Inauguration. I went through all of the stages of grief around this time, with anger, denial, and sadness being the main three. There was no escaping the reality of the world at this moment, whether through performance or cocktail party or drunken escapade. Grief and despair followed me around very closely, and I couldn't relate to the word fancy (or anything else) without them.
This combination of things - self-assurance, arousal, denial, despair - were the ingredients of the piece. I used intuition to combine them, folding the past in with the present and stage-life in with real-life. The video below was recorded at the show and unfortunately there wasn't a single shot of the whole thing, but here is what I have.