Creighton Baxter 
Miller Robinson
Los Angeles, CA
29 February 2020
1 March 2020

Realigned Possession

is a performance-based installation and film by artists Creighton Baxter & Miller Robinson.

Animating themes of spectrality, levitation, transfiguration and disclosure, Realigned Possession is tethered to the contingencies of each performer’s corporeal and affective limits, the exhibition evolves and deflates over a period of 48 hours. Preliminary and predictive sculptures created by Robinson are dragged, flayed, and consumed through a series of endurance-based gestures by Baxter. Sculptural objects become surrogates for unspeakable tones of grief, longing, pleasure and regret. A pane of glass stands in as the body of a dead lover, a pantsuit distorts into a second skin, a plinth of charcoal becomes a limb.

Existing in pairs, the sculptures are embedded with poems by each artist. As Robinson sleeps atop a latex pillow filled with ash blindfolded by a silicone mask debossed with a poem about renewal, Baxter becomes a spector in the space -- activating and manulating the other objects as she constellates a dreamscape around them.

Embracing the charcoal plinths, Baxter drags herself across the floor and up the wall toward trans figurative drawings with snakes for genitals made on sheets of sugar. Consuming them, she reveals hidden poems etched into the drywall beneath. Removing bandages from a blood-filled towel rack, Baxter enacts Robinson’s lost menstruation as their blood drips onto a rag below. Throughout the performance Baxter hangs stained latex gloves from monofilament clotheslines and graphite-coated snakes from ceiling pipes, across the room Robinson contorts on the floor to peel the first “skin” from their tri-layered rubber suit.

Unchoreographed, the performers mirror each other, neither touching or acknowledging one another until the final moments of the two day piece. On day two, Baxter lays beneath a 6-foot glass sheet repeating the phrase “the gash, the piss, the fire” while spraying an edible aerosol into her mouth. Pink mist stains her face and stencils her body onto the floor. Robinson who now stands vertical watches from a distance as they slowly sheds the second suit layer.

After hours, Baxter crawls out to relieve herself onto the glass. More gloves along with piss soaked rags are collected and hung as Baxter meticulously cleans and arranges the evidence from her previous actions.

As Robinson peels away the final sections from their suit, Baxter begins to ask the audience “Will you come closer?” over and over. Even as they pin her against the wall, some embracing while others remain distant, Baxter continues “Will you come closer? Will you come closer? You’re not close enough”. Eventually, the group slowly dissolved until even Robinson leaves the room.

Realigned Possession takes up a backward temporality, obsessionally pointing toward a futurity that makes space for it’s past. By collapsing their cyclical practices, Robinson and Baxter haunt the space of performance with reverberating actions, flying objects and possessed forms.

As their first collaborative project, “Realigned Possession” sutures long standing conceptual frameworks from each of us. Both of the time-based practicioners respond to site through endurance-based processes, mark making, sculpture and performative detritus. Together, their works seek out horizon lines in Queer and Trans potentialities.

Images: Lily Baxter