“The Pit is a collaborative painting, installation, and performance created specifically for the first floor and basement of the Excelsior Lofts building in Dayton, Ohio. Rodney Veal, Katherine Mann, Sarah Sexton, Emily Burkman and the thirteen youth participants in their respective groups collaborated to first transform the pit into a painting and dance spectacle in early July, when youth participants in Rodney’s group performed a dance on the bottom level of the pit while Katherine’s youth participants poured and shot watered-down paint on them from above.
The performance was repeated a second time a few weeks later with only Rodney in the pit while the youth participants threw paint on the dancer, walls and floor in a choreographed rhythm. The paint, swirled and mixed by its journey from bucket to super-soaker to dancer’s soles to floor, was then allowed to pool and dry–providing a history of the two dances. Katherine Mann’s group then went back into the dried remnants and used them as a foundation for a mural and floor painting–upon which Rodney Veal’s group created two more dances.
Created in an empty, unused space in a historic building, the Pit pieces sought to combine disciplines and build upon layers of experience. Each progressive activity in the pit built upon the one before–and each referred to spectacle, epic fantasy, the tracking of movement and bodies, and layers of history created in one space.”