Nigerian e-mail scams, figure skating and a Neanderthal language all play a part in Catherine Sullivan’s new video work “Triangle of Need”. The multi-channel installation continues her exploration of theatrical and performative conventions.
Sullivan’s ambitious project focuses on two main locations: Vizcaya, the sprawling Miami estate built in the 1910’s by agricultural industrialist James Deering, and a nondescript apartment building in an anonymous American city. Sullivan situates “vestigial narratives” at these locations, one involving a hominid species that is forced to reproduce by an industrialist; and a series of reconstructions from the Pathescope Films catalog, silent films screened by Deering at Vizcaya.
As in past projects, Sullivan works with numerous collaborators. “Triangle of Need” enlists the expertise of Nigerian director Kunle Afolaya, composer Sean Griffin, choreographer Dylan Skybrook and figure skater Rohene Ward, among others.