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May 9 – Performance by Calista Lyon, “The Unknown and the Unnamed”

May 9 @ 4:30 pm 7:30 pm

The Unknown and the Unnamed


The Unknown and the Unnamed uses projected images, live narration, interviews, and field recordings to reckon with the violence of historical and contemporary settler power in Australia. The performance shares a collective experience of loss, extinction, and the consequences of human action on nonhuman and human lives via the endangered Crimson Spider Orchid (Caladenia concolor). 

This ongoing, multi-year research project began with my introduction to an Australian orchid collection created by self-described “recluse” and amateur botanist, Phillip Branwhite, who lived in Lyon’s family’s farming community in Tallangatta Valley, Australia.

Lyon use oral histories drawn from her personal relationships with local amateur botanists, conservationists, farmers, scientists, photographic and botanical archives, and extensive literary and scientific research. She makes visible the impacts on mental health of living in a time of escalating drought, bushfires, species extinction, deforestation, and global warming. Drawing from research in Feminist Science Studies and her experience growing up on a cattle farm in Australia, she use symbiosis as a metaphor for community challenging dominant narratives of human individualism. 

Working to subvert dominant narratives of human individualism, the performance provides layered examples of individual existence borne of and reliant on interconnection, prompting considerations of our entangled relationships toward more just forms of living.


Vicki Myhren Gallery

2121 E Asbury Ave
Denver, CO 80210 United States
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