Grand Canyon

Grand_Canyon_Front.jpg
Grand_Canyon_Front.jpg

Grand Canyon

10.00

Grand Canyon, a radio play, tells the tale of a heroic act of 'unblocking' during which [Rosenthal] discovers that what is blocked when we refuse to face time, change, and mortality is not merely an individual's life but the life-blood of the world itself.

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Grand Canyon was written as a sound piece in 1978.  It was 'performed' by an audiotape as part of an exhibition call Meta-Magic at CalState University, Dominguez Hills, CA, in February of that year.  The tape recorder with ear phones was set on a sculpture stand, and four 11" x 14" sepia-tinted portrait photographs of Rosenthal were hung behind it.  The photos were a series depicting Rosenthal smiling more and more broadly over vampire teeth.  Later that year, Grand Canyon was performed live as a radio piece for KPFK Pacifica Radio.

Rosenthal's method for merging ego-expression with eco-consciousness is exemplified in Grand Canyon, at the moment when she recognizes the contours of her life int he topography of the canyon.  This is not the mad self-projection it might at first seem, though the story certainly permits us to think of it as such if we need to, since this is, after all, a story of self-delusion and hallucination.  Nor is this simply a matter of ecological metaphors and nature symbolism, although again it is not hard to think of it as such if we want to , since archetypal symbols like Mother Earth are tightly woven into Rosenthal's pieces.  Rather, it is an attempt (as in all her work) to free ourselves of the disastrous tendency to 'other' nature, whether by giving it human consciousness or by withholding all consciousness from it.  Rosenthal's position is a refusal of any version of the Cartesian dualism that makes of Nature a thing apart.  Her project is in line with the difficult but crucial injunction that (in the words of Gary Snyder): 'The wild is not to be made subject or object...it must be admitted from within, as a quality intrinsic to who we are.' – Una Chaudhuri, Chair of the Drama Department at New York University from 'Critical Performances:  Rachel's Brain and Other Storms - Rachel Rosenthal Performance Texts'