Donal Mosher & Shannon Stewart (Portland, OR
& New Orleans, LA): Strange Gardens
Strange Gardens is a collaborative performance work by filmmaker/writer/musician Donal Mosher and choreographer Shannon Stewart. The project proposes using HIV as a frame that allows a broader look at the poetics of the interaction between our interior concepts of the body, the science imagery that shape those concepts.
Shannon Stewart is a choreographic artist, dance filmmaker and writer from the Pacific Northwest, living in New Orleans. As a performer and choreographer she has toured internationally, including interpreting the works of Tino Seghal, Deborah Hay, Joan Jonas, zoe | juniper, tEEth, and many others.
Donal Mosher is a filmmaker, photographer, writer, and musician. He is the collaborative director (with Michael Palmieri) of the award wining documentary features October Country, Off Label and the shorts Rougarouing, Marseilles, and Peace in the Valley. Alongside filmmaking he has published fiction, non-fiction, and reviews including a contribution to the LAMBDA Award winning anthology Portland Queer. His recent photographic work The Vibrancy Is Killing Me was on exhibition in Munich, Germany in 2015.
Using the vivid side-effect dreams caused by HIV medication as a starting point, Strange Gardens examines the ways we physically see and imaginatively conceptualize the body and illness. The project places photographic images, texts, audio, and video material drawn from personal and public HIV dream experiences alongside an archival history of the micro-visual technologies that have shaped our cultural ideas of the body, disease, and viruses since the19th century. The project also contains film and audio commentary by artist, doctors, and cultural theorists. Strange Gardens is designed to be a lecture-style performance that brings all these elements together with a live narration and accompanying onscreen video.