The Portal

Grandma

Cori Olinghouse, Grandma (2018). Performance by Martita Abril. Photograph by Andrew Jordan.


Cori Olinghouse, Grandma (2018). Performance by Cori Olinghouse Photograph by Andrew Jordan.

Cori Olinghouse, Grandma (2018). Performance by Cori Olinghouse Photograph by Andrew Jordan.

Presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council as part of the 2018 River to River Festival, this iteration of Grandma is a performance installation where I conjure my late Grandma, Allie Lee Holder. Set in an American landscape of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, I excavate the effects of television, consumerism, and familial pasts. Until the age of 94, Grandma delighted in her daily Twinkies and Mr. Pibb’s, acquired from the local Piggly Wiggly. She saved tourist sweatshirts wrapped neatly in plastic, collected crocheted Barbie clothes, refrigerator magnets, and a vast array of thimbles. While she gossiped with ladies at the salon, I chopped off Barbie heads, and attempted to fly from a stump in her backyard. In this piece, she is embedded in the hints of living room, carpeting, and processed food products. While looping through the practice of hoarding, discarding, coveting and display, I excavate a particular formation of white southern middle classness that is built up in my memories.