Thursday, March 26, 2009

Eema Eema / Mother Mother

I would first like to acknowledge that my performance takes place on unceded Coast Salish territory.

In October 2008 I produced an experimental performance art video titled “Eema Eema/ Mother Mother. I would like to continue with the same eco-feminist tropes in my live performance while experimenting with the intersection of live performance and this already produced work.
“Eema Eema / Mother Mother” is an exploration of abandonment and reclamation of Mother Earth as engendered through embodiment of “trash” and a return to my ancient mother tongue Aramaic. Through simultaneous embodiment of both object and subject, the performance challenges the viewer’s gaze of the female body as I occupy both performance spaces. The piece also questions the implications of colonialism on women and the environment as it manifests in mainstream consumer cultures. These expansionist behaviours of infinite growth, ever-increasing volumes of subordinating mass media and the commodification of nature are normative components of economies and civil society within settler-states like Canada. I am rendered silent throughout the performance besides calling out for my mother interpreted here as “Mother Earth.” It should be noted that the language I speak (ancient Aramaic) was lost to Roman colonization resulting in eventual reworking of the alphabet into further dying Jewish languages such as Yiddish and Ladino.
A common thread throughout my work seen here is the use of the Brechtian “alienation effect” employed to arouse an awakening, critical consciousness in the viewer. It is employed through the participatory element of the performance incorporating the spectator in the embodiment process.
For the booth component of the show I attach garbage to my costumed body with thread (sewing) and gaff tape embodying Vancouver’s litter corporeally and matrifocally. My costume is the same as in the filmed piece wearing a black evening gown, black tights and dress shoes evocative of the neutrality of the woman as any one of us. The performance engages spectators with the garbage allowing them to enter my booth and attach litter to their bodies with or without my assistance by taping or sewing drawing upon the spectators’ creativity in reclaiming what has been discarded and invoking a sense of connectedness within the piece.

Centre stage, the video performance is silently projected onto the back of the studio and I continue the performance. I engage with the audience by taping garbage to them representing among other things the blind contamination of our bodies and the universal relevance of environmental degradation and connectedness to Mother Earth. I aim to conclude the performance by calling out in sync with the film “Eema, Eema” reconnecting with what has been lost.

No comments:

Post a Comment