Chapman St, East Hartford
Kevjn Kelly


Chapman St. East Hartford is a performance that evolved from the act of taking a random point on a map, to thinking about how European explorers would get to their destination and what they would come across and then to the documentation of such events. In the case of Christopher Columbus his travel log/ diary does not exist, and what we know about his voyage to America is based on an abstracted version that Bartolome de las Casas wrote from memory from reading the original.  Additionally, it has been translated from Spanish to English many times. So what we know could be total fabrication, but since this is all we have, we have to take it as truth.

In the performance I attempt to travel to my destination (Chapman St, East Hartford) by following a compass, and attempt to record my observations by reciting what I see in front of me. I also put the destination into a GPS system which is dependent on the map and not on outside interferences. In the video documentation what is seen is a mirrored reflection from the hood of the car of the event that at times reveals what is actually happening.

The result, in turn, becomes similar to Columbus’ voyage and De las Casas’ account. By attempting to be as objective as possible in my documentation while choosing what I want to record and recite. Like Columbus’ who happened across America by chance, and De las Casas’s account by choice, the viewer is left unsure of where the performer is, where he is going, what he is seeing, and what happens by chance and what happens by choice.

play excerpt