Rainbow Tara: Color Coded at The National Equality March

About the Work

Rainbow Tara: Color Coded is site-specific, interactive live art performed at the National Equality March in Washington DC, October 11, 2009 in support of full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans. Concept, visual art, artistic direction by Tracy Ginsberg; Choreography by Javier Cordoba and Oscar Trujillo, Performance by Javier Cordoba, Heather Doyle, Freddy Pacheco and Oscar Trujillo; Color Coded by Ed and Linda Calhoun; Audio Technical by Theodore Lillie.

In a performance on the street and at the Capitol Reflecting Pond, painted bodies manifest the iconic rainbow, each body is printed with Tara images and selected code words from state marriage statutes. Music includes code words and lines from Elizabeth Alexander's poem "Praise Song for the Day," which she read at the inaugural address on the Capitol West Lawn; "what if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national, love that casts a widening pool of light, love with no need to preempt grievance."

Exploring society's evolving definitions and legal sanctioning of marital relationships, one witnesses history repeating itself. In 1959, Mildred and Richard Loving were convicted of violating Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws. On June 12, 1967, a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned their convictions by finding laws banning interracial marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In 1962, the year President Barack Obama was born, his parents' marriage would have been illegal in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia, Wyoming. In those states, both his parents would have faced significant jail time and/or fines.

Rainbow Tara: Color Coded is the culmination of a series of interactive live art works striving for social change. It is the fifth incarnation of Homage to the 21 Taras, a work whose mission is to manifest itself 21 times in 21 versions around the world. The Goddess Tara is a deity, healer, protector, liberator and guide;
her name means "savior" and "crossing over."

  • video