Object Lessons: Ogle County
collected porcelain plates, feedsack fabric, objects of various materials (paper, wood, prairie grass, copper, stones, cookies, saran wrap, eggs, tea bags, fabric, grapes, molasses, flour, pear, canning jar, etc), Illinois pasture
Family stories or lessons are passed on from generation to generation. In Object Lessons, the stories are represented by or take the form of objects. The backdrop to the performance is a rural farm, surrounded by fields. The actual performance takes place on top of a rectangular grid of dinner plates. As the women navigate their way from plate to plate, they remove objects that are buried in the pockets while reciting a shared recipe over and over. Each object is performed with and then placed on a plate as the performer moves to another plate. Both the action and the object combine to form the lesson or story. The white dinner plates become intermittently covered with objects. The plates create a domestic context, set amidst the larger rural context, for each object/lesson.