‘Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience’ is a creative exploration of observation and entanglement as tools for negotiating pain. Research on ecology, restoration, and psychology creates a series of videos, images, and performances. How do personal networks of resilience overcome systems of pain, both in human perspectives, and in ecologies? The project explores commonalities in the context of divisive cultural politics.
Artist Meghan Moe Beitiks begins her research with personal interviews. She discusses processes of recovery with people with both personal and professional experiences of trauma and recovery, including an ecological restoration specialist, an animal behaviourist, several survivors of abusive relationships, and many others. Clips from the interviews become the basis for visual and material explorations, generating videos, installations, and images. Stigma and prejudice emerge as barriers to healing – acceptance, observation, and listening, as common tools to accelerate it.
This compilation takes components of Beitiks’s research and arranges them within their own system of exploration. Observers’ perceptions of the work are both assisted and disrupted by audio descriptions. Originally intended to make the works accessible to non-sighted audiences, the descriptions also serve as an exploration of observation and objectivity. A seemingly unrelated pine wallpaper appears to have been unfairly categorised as “masculine,” prompting further questions about categorisation and labelling, as well as depictions of nature. Beitiks’s presence and movement in the work is described as androgynous, their body taking on the narratives described in the interview clips. Boundaries between various disciplines and narratives disappear—we instead experience the labour of connecting disparate entities, despite the limits of our own perceptions.
Photos by Colin Conces/Video by Miguel Cedillo/Thanks to Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.