Here goes: The journey begins before audience members enter the space, Chipaumire writes on a chalkboard area of the floor, and five men are positioned among her words, down the center is a defined path of dirt. The audience is directed to walk around and read the words on the floor before settling. The words are Chipaumire’s attempt to write a letter to a father she never knew—“dear…………………………” When the lights go down, a voice, we believe it’s Chipaumire’s, reads the broken letter telling of who she imagines her father to be, African greats like Patrice Lamumba, for example. She walks now, around and around the center piece, in and amongst the men who've now gather in a clump. She tries to find a path, but it is always obstructed, she gains speed, but is again blocked until she escapes (?) and stands planted in the center piece. Through many difficult, repeating attempts she tries to make her way from one end to the other while the men continue their long walk/dance/jig around her trudging along in the center piece. Chipaumire pulls forward with a shoulder and elbow, she reaches, bends, swings her hip from side to side, steps forward and back, boasting-she stands still shoulders forward, chest out and elbows back, she raises dust clouds and sometimes sways shoulder to shoulder with the men on one side, but they would leave her—they would chug on. She does get to the other side, but ahhh…this is only a work-in-progress. What’s next?
As always, the "Stripped/Dressed" evening concluded in a Q & A with the artist.