Tender Cargo

November 2022

Project Description

This performance was conceived in conjunction with the exhibition, Tender Cargo, which explores how bodies hold and carry trauma across time and geography, drawing on artist Taleen Batalian’s legacy as the granddaughter of four grandparents from Western Armenia. Batalian grew up surrounded by references to the Genocide her family endured, but it was never discussed openly. After the death of her mother in 2012, Batalian began using textiles and sculpture to unpack this murky silence and interpret her cultural history to understand the legacy of trauma passed down from her grandparents to her parents and ultimately to her. Tender Cargo investigates what it means to wear and carry our trauma and asks us to consider how the body traverses under the weight of these heavy loads.

Tender Cargo comprises sculptural garments, other 2D and 3D artworks, and an original soundscape. The exhibition culminated in a live performance with dance, original sound score, and scenic design.


The exhibition and closing performance were created in collaboration with the following artists:

  • Antonio Forte, Sound Designer
  • Heidi Henderson, Choreographer and Dancer
  • Keri King, Scenic Designer/ Project Consultant
  • Michele L’Heureux, Curator
  • Jessica Pearson, Dancer
  • Andy Russ, Lighting Designer
  • Joshua Tuason, Dancer

This project was made possible by generous support from: