In Tarps I Trust is a dance work by Laura Gutierrez inspired by themes of labor, specifically blue-collar jobs. The work explores the physical labor Gutierrez witnessed throughout her father’s career as a billboard painter, highlighting the materials that were ever present growing up in her household, such as tarps, ladders, and ratchet straps.
Using her father’s materials, Gutierrez focuses on their awkward and imposing nature, before gradually incorporating them into dance and movement phrases such that they become partners in space. The performance was workshopped in the Summer of 2023 as part of a DiverseWorks residency, produced in collaboration with MECA.
In Tarps I Trust is an innovative dance work that also creates a platform for dialogue around how different forms of labor are valued, or undervalued, including the work of artists. This theme will be further explored in a panel discussion and an exhibition of the work of Anthony Almendárez, Hello, My Name Is _____.
Special thanks to Outfront Media, Jason Proffitt, Jay Sitta, and Jose Gutierrez. Photo by Ben Hoste and billboard design by Emma OBeirne. Courtesy of Outfront Media.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Laura Gutierrez is a performing artist and choreographer originally from Houston, TX. A graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, she received a BFA in Contemporary Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she was awarded a William R. Kenan, Jr., Performing Arts Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education. Gutierrez has worked with choreographers Jane Weiner, Rosie Trump, Lydia Hance/Frame Dance, Helen Simoneau, and Cara Hagan, among others, and toured internationally with Jonah Bokaer Choreography. She’s performed at the Biennale de la Danse de Lyon, BAM Next Wave Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance, Brisbane Festival, and in museums such as The Menil Collection, Contemporary Arts Museum–Houston, the Fabric Workshop Museum, and DiverseWorks. Her choreography has been seen at Lincoln Center’s Clark Studio Theatre, CPR-Center for Performance Research, DixonPlace, Judson Church, Triskelion Arts, Sicardi Gallery, MATCH Houston, CounterCurrent Festival, Museo Jumex, and The Chinati Foundation. She has been named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” and is based in New Jersey.
Laura Gutierrez: In Tarps I Trust is commissioned by DiverseWorks and supported, in part, by the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Brown Foundation, Inc., the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, Houston Endowment, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the Teiger Foundation, and DiverseWorks members and patrons. Special thanks to MECA. Additional support from Outfront Media.