Grip Slip: a response by Carole McCurdy

wood bone mill

Site-specific performance on July 13, 2019, in and around a mulberry tree between two houses

on North Hermitage Avenue, Chicago

[closing iteration of a project presented between the fall of 2017 and the summer of 2018 in each of the four seasons, perpetually reshaped by the earth’s orbit around the sun]

Bryan Saner: Creator, Performer

Matty Davis: Creator, Performer

Eryka Dellenbach: Performer

Sara Zalek: Performer


Wood Bone Mill (the book) is avaiable in Chicago via Inga:

And in the web through Printed Matter:
image by Zac Whittenburg

grip slip


and a plummet

into wood-chips and earth 


a fine grind and a rough,

the cutting teeth underneath

and everywhere still working:

a Wood Bone Mill.


together you built

a house between two houses,

a house of the space embraced by

branches, visibly imaginary, a liminal house village 

where myth and metaphor hang over an abyss by gritty fingertips



it all depends it all depends it all 

depends on these dependencies.


a house made of sweat, scherenschnitte, and stumps.


[I teleport to various of Calvino’s

Invisible Cities, am hand-pumped to Tarkovsky.

The Stalker takes only men to the Zone

of fearful secret wish

while the Wife Mother holds her own

in rhetorical frustration

and the Daughter’s telekinesis is

handicap, is power of sadness,

is simple bending of light,

does not break the glass.]


But in the house you built together,

no glass—

the inverted house that holds itself apart 

has women this time 

who swing you into a slow hold,

who poke a hole into the bosom 

of a hermitage. and out comes some

new question in tight jeans

about manhood hewn out of what:

something that’s been cut.


Processed with VSCO with g6 preset
image by Maren Celeste
image by Mary Coyne
190714_Matty Davis Bryan Saner WOOD BONE MILL - EDIT - 14
image by Zac Whittenburg
190714_Matty Davis Bryan Saner WOOD BONE MILL - EDIT - 20
image by Zac Whittenburg
image by Mary Coyne
190714_Matty Davis Bryan Saner WOOD BONE MILL - EDIT - 7
image by Zac Whittenburg


Carole McCurdy is a Chicago-based artist whose work addresses grief and anxiety, duty and resistance, and the absurd mysteries of embodiment. With Aurora Tabar she curated Power Ouch!, a festival of body-based performances about violence, at Links Hall in February 2019. She has shown her work at the Chicago Cultural Center, Defibrillator Gallery, Epiphany Dance, Hamlin Park, High Concept Laboratories, Links Hall, and No Nation, among othersShe received a 2016 Lab Artist award from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum and was a Fall 2016 Sponsored Artist at High Concept Laboratories. She created and directed an ensemble piece, Waver (2017), with support from CDF, HCL, and 3Arts Chicago.

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