Hannah Verlin
Veil was commissioned by Luminarium Dance Company for their production Secrets & Motion. The single 24' sheet of translucent latex was suspended from the ceiling of the Somerville Armory. The 40” wide sheet is split in half and pulled in opposite directions to create a dynamic space. Written in white on the sheet are entries from Martha Ballard's 1785 diary. Martha Ballard was a midwife and healer in what is now Maine. Her meticulous diary entries are both mundane and intimate. The white text shifts in and out of translucency and legibility on the skin-like latex, suggestive of the mystery that so often conceals the lives and bodies of women from the past. Luminarium used the installation not only as a gateway into the space that set the tone for their performance, but they also incorporated it into their choreographer, with a dancer moving through the split. The moving body made the object come alive. Together they presented a dialogue in which they played off of one another and expressed something that was more than simply the sum total of the two components.