Poems and Texts

From Imaginary Explosions by Caitlin Berrigan

Caitlin Berrigan & Marianne Shaneen
Friday, October 5, 2018, 8:00 pm

Imaginary Explosions

Even an entirety must have an edge. Just as the continents drifted before, leaving a line against water: California. It will happen again. They’ve been predicting it all of our lives and even before: all the faults will split at once and drop California into the ocean. Cliff crumbs. Crumb cliffs. But before half of it is submerged underwater, California will burn.

Because we grow up in a drought seven years long. Because what we think are rocks burst into crystallized dust under the pressure between our fingertips. Our bodies have a thirst to be immersed in water. All the creeks are dry and anyway we are too young to know they ever carried water. But there is a private reservoir. Still full.

I learn from her the practice of disobedience: how to switch off the motion detector light on the porch, how to move in a way to be mistaken for an animal. There is nothing but night in the mountains at night. Hardly headlights or a bulb to captivate a moth. No fences, only trees. But the property lines are known. The children may run through the woods along paths made by deer, but only one creature will be punished for trespass.

Heat from their bodies cannot evaporate the wet evidence of the reservoir on their skin. I can’t imagine that a twelve year old with braces would give a good blow job. But I can imagine that under threat of a neighbor with a gun in the night in the mountains at night, that she might find it doable.

From Imaginary Explosions (Broken Dimanche Press, 2018)

Caitlin Berrigan

Caitlin Berrigan works across performance, video, sculpture, text, and choreographies to engage with the intimate and embodied dimensions of power, politics, and capitalism. Her artist’s book Imaginary Explosions (Broken Dimanche Press, 2018) was the subject of solo exhibitions this year in Berlin and Schloss Solitude, and her book Unfinished State is forthcoming from Archive Books with support from the Graham Foundation. Her current body of work, Imaginary Explosions, is a cosmology of pseudo-science fiction videos that follows an affiliation of transfeminist geologists as they operate in communication with the desires of the mineral earth for radical, planetary transformation. The next exhibition of this work will open in October at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. She has created commissions for the Whitney Museum of American Art, Harvard Carpenter Center, and the deCordova Museum. Her work has shown at Storefront for Art & Architecture, Hammer Museum, Anthology Film Archives, LACMA, Goldsmith’s London, Homeworks Beirut, among others. She holds a Master’s in visual art from MIT and a B.A. from Hampshire College. She is a PhD candidate at the Vienna Academy of Art, and a research affiliate of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering Technology, Culture and Society.

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