DOUBLE HAPPINESS OR NOTHING takes place midway between the two points of this festival’s boundaries of Joshua Tree, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the town of NOTHING, Arizona. DHoN captures, on digital film, the “incredible yet ordinary” lives of two, not-as-well-known-these-days, aging yet iconic super heros: Superman and Batman played by myself and Stosh Fila, as a duet team. The aging duo traverses NOTHING (also called Nowhere, AZ), a ghost town, recognizing that there truly is nothing to save (nor to rescue, nor to inspire) - except perhaps themselves and each other.
This photographic journey, shot prior to the festival launch, explores a modern-day aging superhero’s daily practice: jumping jacks, muscle building, dance routines, out-of-circulation self-help journals interspersed with grappling with their obsession with the inspiring blog, SuperValentThought.com, by queer cultural critic, Lauren Berlant. Double Happiness or Nothing combines fantasy autobiography, popular iconography and vulnerability with and through objects and our gendered, queer and aging bodies. The Heroes’ (dulling) superpowers and attempts at further greatness are poignant in this in-between, conjuring the Lost, Forgotten, and the Unsung. We witness the comrades’ efforts to ignite the burgeoning flames of discovery, world-building, and the-ever-elusive great reach of hope.
Double Happiness or Nothing explores a psycho-sexual/psycho-social narrative of the disparities of aging, change and potentiality in an iconic yet precarious desert landscape in three forms:
The first object is a hardcover book (edition of 2) documenting a duo’s performance and process which will be kept by a shopkeeper in Joshua Tree and Albuquerque - to be discovered by viewers who inquire....as a symbol of the myth of this journey.
A single representative image from this book will be developed into a large format photograph (edition of 2) - also held by shopkeeper behind the register or in a closet somewhere.
The final object is a flag. Using an image of the duo, we will silkscreen onto biodegradable cloths connected to stakes resulting in multiple flags along the route. The images utilizing the wind and the flags point to movement and ephemerality championed in my rigorous, endurance-based physical practice. Additionally, these flags represent the recording of a performance and it's (a performance’s) ultimate disintegration and fading over time, affected by and within the elements. These will be staked along the route to be seen, or missed.