Newborn
2018

So-called Marquette, NE

In Newborn, I approached the soybean fields of the converted Nebraskan prairie with the same reverence as I had the beloved lakes of my home in upstate New York. In times of duress, I would go to the water as a way to release my sorrows and fears through each stroke I swam. I met Larry, the farmer whose fields you see featured here, on his tractor while out walking. When I asked for permission to do this piece in his crop, he waved his hand dismissively. “It’s not worth anything anyway,” he explained, referring to increased foreign imports that were disrupting U.S. markets. I am a fast swimmer through soy; I lost my collaborators Asya and Hugh within minutes in the fields. The documentation we have accounts for only a few minutes of the piece, as I approached the end of the rows. Two weeks later, I developed a fever and an inexplicable rash all over my body.

Performance (2 hours) and performance score: Serena Caffrey
35mm film photos: Hugh Hopkins
16mm film excerpt (1:04 minutes): Asya Dubrovina