MapFund

About the Grant

$40,000 to support Scaffold Room (MAP 2012), a new performance work by Ralph Lemon.

About the Project

Scaffold Room is performance-lecture-musical that takes place in a confined built space where documentary and fiction, or the need for facts and the desire for myths, collide. By imagining the place where immutable love meets the unreliable nature of being, artist Ralph Lemon is experimenting with the boundaries of form and presentation—creating an experience in which installation and performance are the same. 

The performance space is a freestanding room open on two sides, containing a podium and microphone; a wall-size video projection screen; a mirrored wall; a bunk bed; and a “private” space for the solo live performer Okwui Okpokwasili. The compressed nature of the room draws the focus to her movements and vocals in the telling of her story. Conversely, the actions and speech of the solo video performer Edna Carter—seen projected on one wall—will mirror, warp, or emphasize the narrative held within the room.
 
These two women are related, yet are equally unreliable narrators who think out loud, borrow from each other and other sources, and build a myth into a belief system. Outside the room, an ensemble of three or four musicians provides the musical accompaniment for a satiric play of pop-rock songs sung by Okpokwasili.
 
Scaffold Room features artistic contributions from several of Lemon’s long-time artistic collaborators, including video artists Louis Sparre, Jim Findlay, and Mike Taylor; dramaturge Katherine Profeta; and lighting designer Rick Murray.

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