A red and purple lit gallery space with projections, sculptural objects, and dancers performing.

Maureen Whiting and Robert Campbell | and there was concrete skin for your face

Black and white photo of three dancers performing on a concrete structure at Fort Worden.May 1-31, 2002

and there was concrete skin for your face is the culmination of Maureen Whiting’s 2001 Jack Straw Artist Support Program residency project. The installation is a collaborative effort between The Maureen Whiting Company and Robert Campbell that began with a Centrum residency at Fort Worden, Port Townsend in September 2000. Other collaborators for the installation include costume designers KD Schill and Sarah Harlett, lighting designer Dave Proscia, and mechanical designer Tashi Meath. Maureen worked together with these artists to incorporate traditional performance elements (costumes, lighting, performance, visual design) into the installation and converge them in non-traditional and unexpected ways. Set to a soundscape created by Maureen, dancers move amid costumes and through video projections in the installation.

This is the first time Maureen has adapted her work for an installation setting. As an artist who enjoys incorporating various mediums into dance, Maureen found her Jack Straw residency a very valuable experience, especially training and working with Jack Straw audio engineer Matthew Bauer. “This unique opportunity has allowed me as a choreographer to be simultaneously creative in the mediums of sound and visual art. It has also allowed me to significantly expand my creative tools for dance making by exploring the convergence of these new art forms.”

The unique three-dimensional viewpoint of the installation combines Maureen’s original sound score with a live dance performance and various layered visual elements to delve deeper into the extraordinary quality of dance as an accessible form of expression. and there was concrete skin for your face shows the complex emotional and physical dynamics of image, memory, and emotion as it intimately describes the inter-relationships between people and their relationship to their surroundings. The dancers weave a live time response to the layered visual and aural elements of this setting. Maureen used found sound to create a soundscape representing the external world which is integrally linked to the inner emotional landscape of the installation. Sounds of rusted doors, footsteps and ephemera recorded in the acoustically rich interiors of the batteries at Fort Worden served as the raw material for the installation sound score. The dancers use choreographed phrases intermingled with their individual responses to external stimulation, and their own memories of their experiences in the barracks of Fort Worden.

Robert’s video, A Clear Day and No Memories, was produced from 40 hours of raw footage videotaped entirely on location at Fort Worden. It is an intricately woven tapestry of movement, architecture and sound. The hypnotic, precise and theatrical dance movements performed by the Maureen Whiting Company dancers and the camera work were created specifically for the space at Fort Worden by Maureen and Robert. Excerpts from the video footage are projected in the installation.


Maureen Whiting

Maureen Whiting

Maureen Whiting is a choreographer, dancer, and mathematician based in Oakland, California. Her work was supported in Seattle for over 20 years by On the Boards, Seattle University, Velocity Dance…

Black and white photo of Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell’s body of work includes video art, digital media, multi-media performance, installation, and documentary film. Since 1984, his single-channel video art work has been exhibited at…