"...these false realities that make us have this extra emotional junk..." - Kate Wallich on the internet and Splurge Land Apr 1, 2015
Kate Wallich's Splurge Land also approaches the subject of personal freedom, with a focus on a very different demographic. "Splurge Land is about the sad undertones and subtext of the post-internet generation," says Wallich. "I find the relationships that people have with the internet to be so sad; there are all these false realities that make us have this extra emotional junk. These potentially fake relationships that develop on the internet allow us to be really picky about how we present ourselves, we design a filter that decides who we are to other people. That loneliness is the subtext inside this piece, in my own life, and I think that will appeal to people of all generations." The loneliness that Wallich notes is visible in the choreography, as the four dancers—Wallich, Lavinia Vago, Matt Drews, and Waldean Nelson—run diagonally across the stage and make brief physical contact in the middle of the floor before moving on, crossing paths only at precise moments in quick exchanges of body weight via a shove, lift, or manipulation of limbs. Two paintings at the back of the stage by local painter JD Banke and lighting by designer Amiya Brown provide what Wallich says reminds her of the starkness of the internet's glow, the filters that social-media tools like Instagram cast on the realities of the human form. "There's a lot of referencing to the social-media thing, we live-Instagram ourselves during the piece and there's that phone glow on our faces."
In addition to a film component that Wallich and her collaborators made in the On the Boards visual artists' studio, all parts of Splurge Land seek to create a feeling of the vastness and sometimes tragic loneliness of the internet. "To make the film, we threw this big party and everybody got really crazy so it shows that party culture inside the internet culture, that part of life that everyone wants to document and share. It represents where I am in my life right now, this piece is really personal for me." Wallich's last work, Super Eagle, was "so precious, slow, and hard," she says. "I wanted to make the opposite and just vomit everywhere, and that urge to splurge became SL. And that's what the internet feels like to me: splurge, vomit, big, crazy."