Spectral (lake of eggs)
in collaboration with Trevor Knight
Unit 1, The Exchange Gallery
Temple Bar, Dublin 31st July 2012
curated by Dominic Thorpe and Ciara McKeon
Trans-Art Festival Cavan
4th - 19th August 2012
curated by Sally O'Dowd, Siobhan Harton and Joe Keenan
The Cube, National University of Ireland Galway
Múscailt Festival, 7th February 2013
Project Arts Center, Temple Bar, Dublin
commissioned by IETM Conference http://ietm.org/
curated by Michelle Browne
11th April 2013
Photograph by Robert Ellis
Special thanks to Trevor Knight, Maeve Mulrennan, Aisling Bradley, Michelle Browne, Fionnuala Gallagher, Sally O'Dowd, Unit 1.
Spectral (lake of eggs) is a 50 minute performance with sound composition by composer Trevor Knight. The piece incorporates biographically sourced images and actions that explore the limits of sanity and human freedom. I embody a sumptuous madness, sculptural entrapment and ecstatic anesthesia as I recount narratives of self-destruction, madness and institutional care in the light of J G Ballard’s words "In a completely sane world madness is the only freedom."
Description of action: I begin by sitting in front of a lake of egg shells strapped into a straitjacket and tied to the lighting-rig of the space with long muslin bandages. There is a sound piece playing (sometimes a cacophony…bells, sirens, doors clanging…distant voices, a piano, unknown sounds…sometimes silence). I tremble and pull the ribbons of muslin down by rolling and tangling self up in them. Finally in a convulsive dance I shake them off and release self from the entrapment. I become a new self, a bizarre goddess of madness (in an outfit made of bras) and relate a series of short text/script pieces on mental health experiences from my family life. After each story I pick two half egg shells and tape them together with plaster bandages, offering each one to an audience member. Finally, I step into my lake of eggs and lie down in an attitude of beneficent grace and languorous sensuality with the intention to transform the ritual into an ultimate image of love and desire for life in all its absurd beauty. This image is held as the light very slowly fades.