This site-specific fictional narrative incorporates the immediate space around Angels Gate Cultural Center and Angel's Gate High School, a space of innocent explorations by youth, but also, with a proximity to nature, an embodiment of wild energy of youth. The image of a teenager behind the wheel is not just one of growing up and independence, but also one of impending disaster. The car wreck is a tragic American narrative starring the teenager, and an allegory for the teenage experience.
California is only second to the state of Texas in its number of teen fatalities from car wrecks. These big long fast roads that reach out past sprawling suburbs into even more sprawling suburbs are a means to escape the world, flying over asphalt wrapped in the personal space of a vehicle. The image of a teenager behind the wheel is not just one of growing up and independence, but also one of impending disaster. The car wreck is a tragic American narrative starring the teenager.
The car wreck is also a story of disorder, one of chaos. Susan Griffith's novel Women and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her is a charged outlining of objectification of the female body along side her wild counterparts, or comrades, the animals and natural world. Her writing is from what feels now a clichˆ© second wave feminist dialogue, but despite its dated tone it resonates with today's imagining of human relationship to nature and the gendering of that relationship, that ism, the feminine as wild untamed and dangerous force. Lavatelli recalls turning over a car a year ago- crawling out the sunroof, pushing the car rightways, seeing it unharmed, getting back in, and driving away. Perhaps she was only able to do this because of her gender, being a woman she is wild and more akin to the unknown than the order of the world.
Lavatelli and teens from Angel's Gate High School worked collaboratively to tell stories that considered how they remembered a moment beyond understanding, when they fell into the wilderness, into the unknown. Teenagers attempting to take hold of the ground below them to recognize the way we slip and slide down the road from the heights of our immortal self-image. All staged in a space between fantasy and the real, ripe with drama and ambiguity.
Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli is a video installation artist engaging complexities of feminine identity, performance, and desire. She received her BA in Media Studies at the University at Buffalo while performing with various collectives throughout Western New York. After some years working out of Brooklyn she moved out west to obtain her MFA from UC San Diego, while there she also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Nowbased in San Diego she has continued to exhibit nationally and screen film and video work internationally. Most recently she was nominated for the San Diego Art Prize for emerging artists.