::Editor- Marie Alarcon
Mollusk is a video poem and improvisational collaboration which explores confinement. Taped at “The Cliffs,” a historical landmark at Fairmount Park, in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of Philadelphia. Through a focus on environment, this video explores how nature can overturn even the most prestigious space. As the dancer who is rooted in our reality emerges from the hearth, she slowly and insecurely sheds her shell only to find herself exchanging the ruins of home for a charred open field. All the while she is haunted by a masked figure; perhaps a side of herself, perhaps a spirit guide. This guide also emerges from underneath a protective mask, giving freedom to herself and the other, yet there are no happy endings. What do we do once we realize we were chained? This improvisation was guided by writings from The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard. In particular the sections “Shells, and “Nests.” We also considered a poem by an anonymous writer, on the subject of birdhouses. These two writings, combined with a fire in an adjacent field to The Cliffs, only an hour prior to filming, allowed for a dynamic, unplanned session.