In el recuerdo, Sudhoff explores her Cuban American heritage through live and recorded performances, photography, and sculpture. Just as our bodies hold inherited memories, water and rope can be infused with emotion and time. Recently, Sudhoff felt compelled/moved/called to revisit and wash her grandmother’s grave. In a six minute recorded performance, simple white cloths were used to remove dirt from the gravesite while quietly marking the surfaces with ephemeral gestures of love and invisible care. Sudhoff created two self-portraits at the gravesite revealing a physical and emotional experience she had during this private performance, while also acknowledging the mental and emotional journey of her grandmother/Abuela from Cuba to the United States. “My body held her story even before I manifested it into physical form”. Handmade ceramic vessels were embedded with the textures from these cloths and the physical residue from the cleaning process.
Water collected from the grave washing will be used to prepare/care for ropes as part of a live performance. Sudhoff will suspend her body in the gallery setting, becoming not only a metaphor for the vessel containing her Abuela’s memory but the actual vessel, activating the gallery space as she quietly and purposefully creates minimally gestural movements, twisting and untwisting the rope installation, and gently rocking herself as she is held between earth and sky.