Caution, bomb

[three-tiered performance project with artist book, ed. of 50]

Caution, bomb is a three-tiered project, which in its various iterations takes up the US Homeland Security slogan ‘see something, say something’ through composition and oration. The project began with the opera “Caution Baum,” created and directed for the State University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart, Germany (2014). The second tier of the work, “Caution Palm,” considers Los Angeles, the paparazzi and the palm trees of the southern Californian landscape. Caution, bomb concludes with a poetic narration of Adair’s findings, as a representative for a gossip blog, at the 2016 US Presidential National Conventions. In all components, the omnipresent slogan ‘see something, say something’ is repeated, deconstructed, and given space to be reconsidered.

Caution, bomb, 2019, ed. of 50, hand-numbered, printed on recycled paper.

(1) Caution Baum, 2016, HD video, 20’27 TRT, 2’36 excerpt, audio and color.

Working with six vocalists and three instrumentalists, Caution Baum, was a live performance and for video (“Baum” being “tree” in German). The loose narrative of the piece surrounds notions of esotericism within the forests of southern Germany. Throughout the opera the performers whisper the line ‘see something, say something’ with regard to the death and reappearance of a tree/Baum. Stuttgart has seen protests surrounding political rights in regard to redevelopment of its train station and the destruction of city park trees.

(2) Caution Palm, 2017, HD video, 7’34 TRT, audio and color.

The phrase ‘see something, say something,’ in Caution Palm, a song-poem with accompanying visual media, exists in relation to the fantasy of the southern Californian landscape, with its palm trees and its paparazzi. The work premiered as part of the National & Washington Road Concert (2017), and this particular intersection is featured in the video work.

(3) Caution bomb, 2017, video-performance, HD video and stills, 12’16 TRT, audio and color.

Caution bomb is a ‘brief’ of findings at the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Adair covered acting as a representative for a gossip blog. With their triads of police-press-and-protesters that rival any spectacle in the celebrity world, the Conventions provide a foreshadow of the US Presidential election to come. Caution bomb was first performed live at Veggie Cloud, Los Angeles on the eve of the 2017 Inauguration Day and premiered as an Official Selection at the 2017 Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival (Michigan). The performance score is featured in the “MANIFESTO: A Modest Proposal” exhibition (Pitzer College Art Galleries, CA) beginning January 2018.