MOVING THE MOON
SIDNEY CHERIE HILLEY
We emerge, two identical women, from a blue tent fastened to the concrete of a high-rise, ten-story parking lot building. Draped in metallic, reflective, silver sheets, we rotate in a harmonious fashion around a set with plants, fruit, exercise equipment, cooking utensils, a clock, and metallic-covered furniture. Covering the southern part of this civilization is a large silver layout that symbolized a synchronized swimming pool.
Based on the feminist utopian novel, Herland, “Moving the Moon” is a performance exploring the daily life of a futuristic, utopian, all-female society. We inhabited vacant territory, in the same fashion as the all-female societies taking over sections of forests and abandoned spaces.
Is this society so far removed from everyone else’s society? Or are they really right around the corner from multi-gender society, just a parking tower away? The audience viewed the performance from atop the Carew Tower observation deck, a 49-story building in downtown Cincinnati. No allowance or ‘go ahead’ was given for our performance location. We built our set atop Tower Place Parking, a ten-story parking garage with a corkscrew ramp that ascended to the top level. We did the rogue-style performance with the hope of not being ejected. There was a parking lot surveillance camera above us for the duration of the two-hour performance. The lot has since been demolished.
The silver, tent-like garbs that we wore during the performance were a recurring symbol for feminine energy, compassion, and balance. Silver is viewed as the symbolic color of the moon and the movement of the tides; the moon is also a long-time symbol of the feminist movement, with images of moon goddesses and the moon-cycle representing a source of unity and power.
As with silver and the idea of the moon representing the evolution of time and adaptations that are possible for human society, Tran held the clock facing the audience as another gesture towards being conscious of time and change. We moved in synchronized swimming motions on the silver screen as an emblem of a society working together. Why is awareness of an all-female society apropos? We see ourselves closer to a safer, more symbiotic way of being; there is no ‘survival of the fittes’—we recognize and work with each other’s individual qualities and strengths.