Affair on the Green (2008)
With Lauren Crux
Affair-on-the-Green (2008) is the first in a series of performance conversations orchestrated around significant topics in relationship to the GLBT Historical Society of Northern California. The records of each conversation, including artifacts and images, will become a new entry in the collection. Instead of providing historical evidence of a person’s life or the records of an organization, these conversation archives will commemorate ideas.
This first conversation is about LINEAGE. It took place on a green lawn on the UCSC campus as part of the conference Intervene! Interrupt! Rethinking Art as Social Practice on May 14, 2008. Twelve women, all academics, are seated around a long table elegantly laid out with white linens. E.G. Crichton and Lauren Crux introduce the lineage of relations at the table, explain the rules and start the conversation, which is structured around the embroidered questions found on each invitee’s cloth napkin.
We have chosen the trappings of a privileged Anglo genealogical lineage to open up questions. This is still the established measure of lineage in the United States, the norm against which other lineages form shadows, the lineage of privilege and whiteness and nuptials. The actual women at the table hold other kinds of lineage, mostly unmarried, and are able to query and queer the dominant succession pattern that has always been disrupted by difference. We are interested in how lineage across national borders, sexual borders, racial borders, class borders, borders of gender, cultural borders – how all of these affect us in thinking about who is our lineage and how will it be committed to memory.
It is also significant that the women at this table all live and work in the realm of knowledge production. They are producers of ideas, of questions and sometimes answers. Each of us has a lineage that has led us to this seat at the table – our teachers, mentors, lovers, the books we have read, the art we have seen or participated in. Each of us has played a role in making culture in our writings and artworks. Each of us has passed on our knowledge to students.