Thorn Collaborative (NY, NY & Boone, NC)
October 2019. Rope, Pulley (made from Museum Collection wheel components), Fabric (Museum Collection), Scrabble Dice (Museum Collection), Glass Bottles (Museum Collection), Paper, Ink, White Wax (Museum Collection), Apples, Custom Garments

“If we follow the trajectory of eros we consistently find it tracing out this same route: it moves out from the lover toward the beloved, then ricochets back to the lover himself and the hole in him, unnoticed before. Who is the subject of most love poems? Not the beloved. It is that hole.” – Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet

At times alchemical, and at others systematic, the process of collaboration is circuitous and multisensory. Mechanical systems and chance operations are entangled with make-believe; all are equally dependent on one another.

Drawing on a short story Thorn co-authored, Fly Down From Us is about the experience of writing together. The performance is centered around the negative space left by “Core Sample” (Jason Ferguson, 2007). The hole spans the three floors of Elsewhere and serves as a portal through which Thorn exchanges objects and communication via a pulley system. The performance can only be viewed in fragments as the audience moves through the building. Eating and deseeding apples, rolling word dice, and revealing messages written in invisible ink are shared gestures that accumulate over time. As the performance progresses, a chain of pages containing text from their story grows downward toward the first floor.

In Thorn’s work, holes are a recurring symbol for desire as a magnetic force. One is drawn to peer into a hole, to lean over its empty space, but also to anchor oneself to resist falling in. This idea is significant to Thorn as an image of instability of the self as it experiences love. One may feel opposite desires— to be pulled in and absorbed, or to retreat to a safe distance. Just like a hole, the energy of love is often experienced as a push/pull force. Through this hole can never truly be filled, the act of putting themselves into it by sending signals across the void draws them closer. The hole is a point of connection and separation.