Sarah Johnson and Corey Fogel perform on a hilltop with a distant glaring streetlamp illuminating their silhouettes. Fogel plays the drums as Johnson enacts a series of forceful actions that involve a deconstructed drum-set. Each part—drums, drumstick, cymbals, and stand—is connected to another with chains, forming an assemblage of clattering sounds as they move. The artist drags the instruments up the hill, throws them down, pulls them back up. All of these actions create a cacophony of clamor and clank, all jarring yet surprisingly seductive to the senses. At times the two performers seems to collaborate, such as when Johnson takes instruments off Fogel’s set, even while he is playing. Other times, they seem to be in separate worlds. Fogel plays without pause; there are prolonged moments when his foot even rests on the drumhead, putting his body in differing relations to the instrument. How might the weight of a limb effect the percussive sound? How might its vibrations resonate in the body? The duo’s improvisation creates a multisensorial space of un-disciplinarity, exploring how acts of risk and destruction (which have deeply gendered valences) can engender a space for novel meanings and unexpected questions.
Sarah Johnson is a Los Angeles based artist working in performance, video, photography, and writing. Johnson has performed internationally in galleries, theaters, cathedrals, freeway underpasses, backyards, and otherwise. An alum of NYU in Performance Studies, her work has been featured at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Canada), the TBA Festival (PDX OR), and Sub Rosa Projects (Greece).