The Spelling Bee
34 minute performance (4-minute excerpt)
Who gets to remain complicit in the spectacle of black grief and death?
Audience members were invited to watch and/or participate in the spelling of names from people killed by police and gun violence. The work provides a space of remembrance, healing and action through a familiar American school tradition.
This version of the Spelling Bee was held in the RISD Museum’s Metcalf Auditorium in Providence, RI. It started with one speller and aimed to acquire more contestants form the audience as time went on. Only one other person volunteered to join the stage as a speller, while the rest of the audience chose to remain seated. The names read by the announcer were pulled from factual news stories and real people. There was no penalty for spelling a name wrong. No winners were declared.
Cinematography by Tristan Hsu
Full video of the performance available upon request.