Vásquez Rocks in Agua Dulce, California formed 25 million years ago from an erosion of the San Gabriel Mountains and the collision of tectonic plates from the San Andreas Fault. The resulting feature and surrounding landscape have been the site of human activity for thousands of years: home to the Tatavian, hide-out for 19th century bandito Tiburcio Vásquez (giving the formation its name) and inclusion in dozens of Hollywood films. It exists in unseen layers of human experience, cultural references, and multi-vocal histories.
What we can't see, we can imagine explores the cultural traces on this landscape through bodily experience. Two figures, moving on and through the landform, echo the myriad human interactions with the place as a site of illusion, protection, and historical significance. The figures ultimately disappear into the rock, highlighting the relationship between action and document and conceiving of the experience as artefact. While the landform appears physically unaltered, a video records the body’s interaction with it, acting as a witness to the event and representation of the physical experience of site still present both within the memories of the figures and the place. Performed by Annie Danis and Erin Schneider. Video by Arjuna Neuman.