Shawnee Barton
POWER WHEELS DEMOLITION DERBY
2005
The crowd of nearly 1,000 people really bought it. There were fights, cheers, and a spontaneous hoedown. Many of the cars were flipped and a couple had car parts flying in the air before the red jeep was declared the winner.

The piece is about largely about dislocation, about bringing a part of where I am from--rural Texas--to where I often find myself now--in cultural spaces with other creative people. I don’t fit into the world I came from, but my cherished rural rough edges don’t allow me to fully assimilated into this new life either. The feeling of dislocation is certainly not unique to me, and I hope the performance speaks on a larger level about going from one place to another and how certain characteristics, habits, and preferences are brought along and others are left behind.

Further sociological commentary arises since all the drivers in the derby were small women being openly hostile towards each other. Women are stereotypically more subversive with aggression than men, who fight, play football, etc. in public. Even the woman who couldn’t give anything besides a wide toothy grin for her studio portrait literally ran over the Barbie Lamborghini. It was great to see the women, who are all so feminine in stature, publicly unleash aggression against each other.
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