“A lot of people often smugly ask why I do this,” remarks Rhiannon, musing after a presentation of Like a Cat in the Dark, her latest performative art piece. “It’s about freedom. I live a life where I have someone give me food, clean up [my] poop… but am I in charge of that? I’m not allowed outside. I hear about a lot of other cats just escaping, you know? What if that’s what I need? To lose my way so I can find myself.”

Rhiannon’s sentiment rings throughout the series of frantic movements that make up her piece, embodying a sense of confusion and longing. In fact, in her most recent show, she became so embroiled in the presentation that she had to take a little break to the litter box. Afterwards she explained, “look, the performance is supposed to start with me scratching at the door where all those big folks come in from.” She elaborated that this act is followed by a quick succession of sprints across the room, an indication of what she describes as “totally not enough room in here.” The third act of Like a Cat in the Dark begins and ends with Rhiannon blending in with a pair of black boots. “This is where my lack of freedom renders me invisible. Also, these smell so nice.”

To explain the inspiration that led to Rhiannon’s performance art career, she recalls “My ‘owner’ was pulling a piece of string and that I was chasing, and I got this idea. What if I can express myself through motions like this? I don’t know if I was right. Maybe I was just stringing myself along.”

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