danielle campbell

warmth and when it's gone and when it's back again

Something I wrote recently

It was the driest day in Tuscon this summer. Jeanne-Marie slides open her screen door, tests the patio cement with her bare foot to see if it is too hot, and makes her way out into her yard encircling the adobe house. She lays out a blanket she once bought from a man claiming to be a shaman. Lying down, she imagines herself as a lizard sprawling out across a flat, smooth rock baking in the sun. She becomes the sky and watches herself from above. She blends in with the blanket. Her shoulders slowly bronzing, she becomes the wind that travels into her open mouth. She nestles in the back of her throat, and can feel the pulse of her heart from here. A fly buzzes by her ear and lands on her face, and suddenly she is jerked awake.

            She opens her eyes and squints to follow the bug fly towards her garden. She follows it, curiously, and thinks to herself that it may be a good idea to check on her plants. She discovers a curious weed growing near her tomato plant. She sniffs, licks and chews the tip of one of the leaves – to her extensive knowledge of typical Arizona weeds, it’s unrecognizable . Shortly after she returns to her blanket. Staring across her backyard, the air slowly becomes heavy- the horizon hazy. The humidity collects on her skin. She peers down at her hand and wipes off a few droplets. A breeze gives her neck a strange sense of wetness as she feels her cheeks flush. She lays down and drifts off into a dimly-lit dream: she sees her parents. Her father smells of motor oil and her mother of basil.


- Character study, Danielle Campbell 2013

some snaps from the screening I put on with my film collective, Psychopomp Productions. Check out our tumblr and stay tuned for future events with our travelling microcinema :) 

(Source: psychopomp-productions)

The video component of the Landlocked installation

password: Landlocked 

Landlocked, 2012 

Landlocked is my latest work in progress dealing with the themes of distance, proximity and displacement in relation to my Mexican heritage by exploring traditional gender roles in the Mexican tradition that I have personally witnessed. To explore the male and female roles in traditional Mexican culture, I have chosen two words that have been gendered female and male in the Spanish language. The words I have chosen are “mesa” (f., table) and “reloj” (m., clock)- both relating to the predetermined labor given within a family. 

While studying these words and their histories and meanings as objects, my motivation for initiating the project became something to consider further. Why do I feel it is necessary to make a piece dealing with this binary of gender roles that have already been dealt with? How can this be relevant? I am beginning to realize it has much to do with my displacement from the source, whether the source is Mexico or my grandmother. It is the tension that arises from being always tethered to your upbringing and cultural heritage but at the same time physically and culturally displaced from your homeland.

            The video component of the installation is investigating the relationship of “mesa” and “reloj” to the traditional gender roles made by the Mexican culture. Using the text on screen, I hope to cause the viewer to depart from the exact definition of the word and begin to understand it’s cultural impacts. I juxtapose my old home videos with video of a male and I repeating the words to relate these words directly to a history. The cement block with the wet sponge alludes to the spaces and actions of the gendered labor. The pile of dirt is dirt from my backyard in Texas, acting as a metaphor for the pieces of my homeland I carry with me, but the displacement of those pieces that I maintain. 

i like crunchy

i like sweet

re-enacting T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G by Paul Sharits