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The Vestibular Folds

Vestibular Folds (2005), the next work, chose an unexplored dramatic line from the previous show and presented a spin-off on the tale of this broken metaphysical gramophone record. This time new projections were incorporated into the work and a single story emerged from the soup of potentiality of the previous show, which became about the writing of itself, the recording on oneself of one’s own sound.

Synopsis

B SIDE

TETEMA

Dustbowl stricken Panhandle, 1933

Takes place in the schizophrenic zone called Tetema, a Mars-like ferruginous landscape inhabited by rhizomatic beings unaware of the disasters that ensue or of the larval vampires and quacks that feed on the blood of the body outstretched in its slumber. Tetema is a zone that has existed ever since man first scratched his head, not to squash a flea, but to release the itch of reflective thought. Our tragic hero is a boxing sweet-potato named Juba Greencorn who ploughs his share under the wrong stars.

THE CAST

Huffenpuff – wolf of the metals

Juba Greencorn - a boxing sweet potato

His cow

Xipe Totec - the last turnip in Tetema

Sir Isaac Newton - inventor of Gravity and other advancements in optics and light theory and so on, in this case, a tapped tree of man’s will.

The Dentist

Miranda – velophiliac, a tooth fairy

Reverend Ezekiel Elijah Giles - moonshiner

Dr. Leo Mermex - an ant-lion, Flea Circus ringmaster

Ms. Atkinson - pig-faced lady, dental patient

Knuckleluck - a leprechaun

INTERMEZZO

HILUM

A derelict nursery on the threshold of becoming “Hilum” implies the scarring of a seed from where it attaches to the funicular, a point where things come and go, or a mere trifle. Populating this space are an abundance of pickled, pre-natal urchins who paint this portrait of “women’s work and child’s play”, a stage of creation where there is nothing to do but to pass the time.

Hilum, takes place inside a derelict nursery at the threshold of becoming. Hilum implies the scar of the seed from where it attaches to the funicular, i.e. A bellybutton (umbilical cord), is also the point from which things come and go; a trifle. The terror of Prima Materia, the residues from which we were hurled and unrealized potentiality paint this portrait of “Women’s work and child’s play,” as described in the Alchemical Opus, where there is nothing to do at this stage of the process but to pass the time.

THE CAST

Abraham - an ancient of ancients

Tad and Poppy - twins

Oedipus - a fish

Jupiter - angelic fisherman

Eeko - a sick bat

Ceph - a hydrocephalic kid (when too much water enters your head and makes your skull expand)

Cuss – a sheep

Emmet – a crab

A SIDE

West Orange

West Orange New Jersey, 1889

Eleanor Fletcher Bishop, the bereaved mother of a famous anti-spiritist, ransacks Thomas Edison’s laboratory and steals his inventions in order to preserve for posterity in voice and image the grief she harbours for her late cataleptic son, for whom she never wept at his funeral.

The Lightning Autopsy takes place in West Orange in 1889 inside the laboratory of Thomas Alva Edison (inventor of the incandescent lamp, phonograph and electric chair).Present is Eleanor Fletcher Bishop, the mourning mother of a famous magician, mind reader, and anti-spiritist who was murdered by Edison. In that year, Edison had been busying himself trying to discredit AC current by electrocuting all of the neighbourhood pets, including her cataleptic son (a rabbit). The bereaved mother uses all of Edison’s inventions to call up all the forces of hell to seek revenge on “that hillbilly inventor!”

THE CAST

Hannah - my great, great-grandmother

Mr. Punch

Lachrissa - a crocodile

Filamenti - the filament from Thomas Edison’s first incandescent lamp

Eleanor Fletcher Bishop - ex-opera star, spiritist, psychic medium, bereaved mother of Washington Irving Bishop.

Harley Muzzy- a monkey mechanic

Clementine Genesiouillepasfoux - a diagnosed schizophrenic

Lucifero – a fallen angel

Maldoror - fisherman who sought to see which is the deeper, the human heart or the depths of the sea

A Shark

Washington Irving Bishop - famous anti-spiritist, magician, and mind-reader. A rival of Houdini.

London performances 26-28th January 2006 – The Institute of Contemporary Arts

"Inside the ICA, the show we saw had the exquisite specific cruelty and beauty of what some extremely imaginative Edwardian children might dream up in a puppet theatre they got for Christmas. The gigantic, headless presences of the puppeteers lumbered carefully about the stage, all in formal, black Victorian children’s clothes, manipulating tiny, exquisitely grotesque insectoid or skeletoid marionettes in three tiny acts. These embraced such strange visionary flights as blighted deserts heaving with rhizomes and circus performers, a fearful nursery where every newborn is a freak (shades of great-great-grandmother Hannah’s barrenness), and a scientist’s lab where newly invented electricity hums and flickers, and ancient records play, cracked in half."

Two worlds collided in the implied narrative: the peculiar miniature fantasy land and the uncomfortable purposefulness of the massive puppeteer-children playing God in their specific, disturbed way.

Brilliant, lingering image-making.

Daily Telegraph 31/01/2007 – Ismene Brown

Portfolio

Teteme Teteme Teteme Hilum Hilum West Orange West Orange
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