Performances > sex, birth and death 2003

sex, birth & death
National Review of Live Art in the UK,
15th February 2003

Collective:Unconscious New York
24, 25th October 2003

Cleveland Performance Art Festival
Cleveland Public Theatre, USA
11th June 2003

Kunstraum Dornbirn, Austria 2004
Cork Arts Club, Ireland 2004

Special Thanks to
Curators Nikki Millican (NRLA), Thomas Mulready (Cleveland)
Kunstraum Dornbirn & CAC, Brian Routh
Nigel Rolfe and Sheila Morris for their invaluable assistance & advice

sex, birth & death is a performance in two parts incorporating video projections and soundscape, addressing concepts of maternalism and eroticism. The experience of giving birth and abortion are linked together in this work alongside sexual desire and the complexity of our gendered identity. The piece is highly charged emotionally and the images, actions and sounds are ecstatic metaphors for love, corporeal transformation and fecundity.

Part one is a ritualistic communion (reminiscent of the Catholic Mass) and consumption of a traditional Irish fruit cake with fondant icing in the shape of a human foetus. Part two proposes the image of lactation as a metaphor for female eroticism and maternalism combined. The broad intention of this work is to rationalise the experience of abortion to place it along the continuum of female sexuality and reproductivity, illuminated by the ambiguity of desire.
The work is darkly humorous and unsettlingly beautiful in equal measure.

Script fragment:
bear witness to a declaration of love & loss…
someone will die
someone will be born
forget the life of stones and return home
forget now the taste of blood in the womb consumed & fall into the sea of love
love the red disease
love the affliction that has no remedy…

Lois Keidan, co-curator of NRLA and Director of the Live Art Development agency in London wrote in 2003:

"Aine is making some of the most mature, intelligent and accomplished work imaginable dealing with complex and important issues such as motherhood, gender, belief and responsibility. Few other artists have her depth or her rigour or are able to address such complex ideas in simple and highly accessible ways."