The Middle of the Bed by Avery Steel

The Middle of the Bed is a performance based work that exists to understand the way the body stores the memory of trauma and how that story can be represented through the engagement of choreographed performances, surrealism, and moving image. Through the exploration of the artists personal experience of trauma, she creates performances in collaboration with dancers to both define and transform the body as a site of knowledge and control, as well as a source of desire and confinement. The video installation embodies a strange relay from trauma to memory, manufacturing both notions of distance and intimacy through an undigested thingness of a traumatic presence. In the artist’s personal narrative, she returns to the place in which the memory of the event previously happened, as well as engages with aspects of that exterior space within her domestic spaces and manifests an uncanny presence of her experience through the creation of meticulously choreographed performances. These performances act as metaphorical roadside memorials, as places where time seems to replay itself and the experiences of loss are continuously re-experienced, where the evocation of the initial trauma leaves the past open in the present, constraining individual agency while giving agency to place. Not only does this body of work poetically express the chaotic intimacies that become intertwined with the perception of a place once a traumatic event occurs, but also the perception of day-to-day life for one who has experienced trauma.