DIANE THE AMERICAN SWIMMER SAYS, “DON’T WORRY, AMERICA!”
“DIANE THE AMERICAN SWIMMER” is an ongoing performance/persona project. As Diane the American Swimmer, I am an iconic hero who can do anything because she is American. Through absurd acts and constructed scenarios, the project considers issues of nationalism and hegemony around the contentious and dire issues of water.
The performance is a response to the fracking that is devastating rural Pennsylvania. It lasted approximately ten minutes. As a photographer shot images, Diane the American Swimmer tried earnestly to pose as an exuberant athlete. She held a slightly deflated American flag blow up ball above her head. The pose recalls the Lichtenstein painting, Girl With Ball, which is actually based on an ad for the Mount Airy Lodge, also in Pennsylvania, not far from the site.
Recreation may seem one of the least significant issues around water, given that water resources are a global crisis. However, this act hopes to provoke concern over the cavalier disregard of fracking consequences to the wells in the area by recalling the homage to the historic beauty of the area’s natural resources. A reverence and celebration of nature cannot be undervalued.
While the staging of this image is the primary performance, in my mind the performance includes and extends to the longterm experience of watching the landscape, the environment and the Earth be both transformed and cut into.