CARRIAGE by Matty Davis and Ben Gould
114 x 178mm, 160 pages, black and white and colour printing, perfect bound, softcover, 2019
Carriage is a site-responsive performance by Matty Davis and Ben Gould that radically explores control and empathy. Informed by evolving senses of the body, from injury to trauma, healing, and growth, the work draws from the variance of Davis and Gould’s distinct physicalities to develop a shared language of movement. In this language, empathy is a physical tool, resistance offers stability, and a space is created in which everything is leveled, bringing real fear, awakening, and responsibility.
Created in collaboration with designers Ayham Ghraowi and Matt Wolff, this publication includes writing, photographs, and drawings to evoke the urgent physical and interpersonal landscape of Carriage. The artists bear witness to themselves and to each other as they undergo a wide range of physical and emotional dynamics that navigate trust, need, difficulty, and joy. The temporal and spatial experience of Carriage is resituated on the page, as are Davis and Gould's voices, which build off of each other, overlap, and merge as first person singular and plural meet. Their voices are joined by reflections from audience members who attended Carriage in its various locations— aboard a moving vessel on the Chicago River, in a limestone cave network in Kansas City—which offer insight into the viewers’ own bodies and unique physical and psychological spaces. As these voices combine and accumulate, a broader portrait emerges, not only of a performance, but of the intricacies of human vulnerability, challenge, and care.