1. Damage is Done / Danno è fatto (Daniel Dallabrida)

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    from Daniel Dallabrida / Added

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    “Damage is Done / Danno é fatto” investigates the chill of trauma that infects individuals and communities long after a crisis has passed. This art work exists simultaneously as process, performance, ritual, installation and artifact. It places the viewer/participant at the confluence of order and chaos; rage and control; past and present. The installation’s creation is a community-based ritual, an expression of community healing. A pan-generational team of local artists work together to bind thousands of sticks into bundles, or faggots. The faggots are heated over a kiln, then dipped into a solution of porcelain, pigment, cinnamon and terra-cotta. Once dried, the ceramic skin is shattered, and the faggots are dipped again. After repeating this process multiple times, the faggots are wall-mounted in a pattern influenced by the results of the Western Blot RNA assay—the confirmatory HIV test. In performance, the artist subverts the assumptions of order. With microphones attached to his chest and jaw, he methodically removes individual faggots from the wall. In a ritualistic and focused movement, he strikes the ground with the bundle. The ceramic fractures and explodes away from the faggot, stirring up a rainbow dust cloud of its annihilation. With the exception of these brief moments of violent impact, his movement is slow and controlled. This facade of containment, however, is shattered as the microphones amplify his quickened heart rate and breathing. After the performance, after the protective shell of each faggot is shattered, after the artist leaves the space of performance, the team of community artists restore order. The shards of ceramic are gathered and recycled. The faggots, themselves undamaged by the violence, are coated once again with the brilliantly colorful solutions, then returned to the wall. The loss of an assumptive world contributes to identity disruption, which correspondingly impacts how well individuals can reestablish a meaningful life. To encounter death, evil, and horror makes one forever different. To become aware that the custodians of thémis are flawed and negligent, if not evil and malevolent, makes a return to normal impossible. No longer can we wrap a warm cloak of social order and safety around ourselves and feel protected. If recovery means return to trusting innocence, it is not possible. Innocence is gone. There is no getting back to normal, no return to Oz. During times of war or plague, the terror of insistent, unpredictable death lives among us. There is no pause for recovery. We come to expect loss upon loss. Hope is hidden away so it will not die.The unreleased rage, disenfranchised grief and unsorted identity of post-crisis existence reverberates across generations. To rebuild and re-imagine community, we share our stories with courage and we listen without judgement.

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