Alison Safford
Shuffle
2006
video, fabric
dress 72" x 38" x 38"
You're walking. And you don't always realize it, but you're always falling. With each step you fall forward slightly. And then catch yourself from falling. Over and over, you're falling. And then catching yourself from falling. And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time. –Laurie Anderson

This piece developed from the idea that walking is a balancing act. While it is something that seems rote and automatic, it can easily be upset through illness, age, chance, constrictions (clothes, shoes) or just a momentary change of perception (as in vertigo). Enclosed at the bottom, the dress (a metaphor for the body and self) is attempting to trip you up, and your feet must thoughtfully navigate the motion and cloth to avoid tripping and stumbling. A heightened sense of awareness is needed, and you must pay careful attention to an act usually executed without awareness.

The video shows me walking back and forth in a loop, undertaking a slow and tentative journey. The dress is displayed on an armature suspended from the ceiling, with the video displayed nearby. It has been displayed on a small screen (@ 7”) DVD player, but could be displayed many ways.
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