According to John Locke’s theory of the tabula rasa, our minds are initially a “blank slate” whose space is eventually occupied by the knowledge we’ve accumulated from various experiences. This state of “blankness” can be equated to absolute purity—perfect, immaculate, and sublime. However, to use the tabula rasa as a metaphor would also imply the withering of this particular moment, its succumbing to the forces that surround us. As we open ourselves to the world, our innocence is contaminated until gradually, it completely vanishes away never to be retrieved again.
In blossoming of innocence: performance art as ekphrasis, Hayme Vincent wishes to convey this exact zone of transition without diminishing its sanctity. As her primary artistic method, Vincent employs ekphrasis—describing art works using other forms of art—for she derives elements from Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s short story Trinidad’s Brooch to be integrated in her performance. Preferring interpretation over literal translation, she performs an impression of the story of the orphaned seamstress through the meticulous utilization of symbols and metaphors.
Fragility is a prominent motif conveyed and amplified in the performance and thus paper, as a material that is both delicate and taken for granted, plays a crucial role in signifying the vulnerability of childhood and sexual innocence.
Initially performed as her final thesis, this iteration of blossoming of innocence is now augmented with Vincent’s other works such as collages consisting of notes detailing the concept and process behind the work, as well as paintings on paper inspired by the remnants of the first ever performance of this piece.