In the past decade, hydrologists have studied a decline in water levels brought on by climate change at Lake Powell. The inevitable outcome is the reemergence of the second largest canyon carved by the Colorado River, Glen Canyon, from beneath its depths. This in turn signals the disappearance of the primary water source for the population of the broader Southwest. In recent surveys of the lake, increasingly chalky, calcified canyon walls stand starkly as maps of rapid evaporation. Previously submerged trees and cacti are revealed as silhouettes shrouded in white silt and remnants of trash from decades of recreational lake use are entangled in the arid deposits of the lake bed.
The Passage conveys an imagined future in which the past human, animal, and botanical elements of Glen Canyon reemerge from revealed slots in drowned canyon walls: marbled in red mud and white calcium, processing as reanimated, ghostlike forms in a destined reckoning of this simultaneously slow and rapid environmental disaster. The Passage offers ceremony for a loss of place and the coming of a post-human future. Text excerpts from Gilles Deleuze’s Desert Islands suggest possibilities for the cyclical rebirth that exists in imminent dissolution.
Performances by Melissa Dudley, Rocki Swiderski, and Nicole DeLuca
Text excerpt from Desert Islands by Gilles Deleuze
This project was funded with an Arts Foundation New Works Project Grant and shot on location at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Special thanks to the Kaiser family, Melissa Dudley, Ciaran Wiese, Daniel Cheek, Mattheo Sawyer and the American Institute of Thoughts and Feelings for support in creating this work.