Ongoing series of site-oriented performances throughout the rural Midwest

The videos included here are taken from several phases of Beverly Fresh’s “Outskirts” series, which has taken place in over thirty towns througout the rural Midwest. “Outskirts” utilizes performance as a means of inquiry, combining documentation, intervention and fabrication to examine how collective meaning is produced, consumed and shared throughout the rural Midwest. 

Emphasizing the significance that oral tradition has in shaping and sharing cultural meaning, the performances combine song, dramatic narrative, and jokes. In this series, performance is used as a method of inquiry and during phase one (IL,MI,IN), two distinct perspectives were explored 1) agitator - disrupting social conditions and 2) participant - taking part in organized social rituals. The work draws from a stylized autobiographical viewpoint that ranges from innocence to irreverence and builds upon the tradition of the trickster navigating a journey that could be read as a postmodern tale of the picaresque. Through performance the work critically inquires into the extracurricular activities and places that define the physical and psychological landscape of the peripheral Midwest.