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RITES OF PASSAGE
VIDEO PERFORMANCE IN 3 ACTS
RITES OF PASSAGE is a kaleidoscopic fairytale, told through video performance, depicting an entity going through the painful process of metamorphosis.
Split into three visceral acts, each portraying one phase of transition, the performance investigates a queer femme body navigating hostile spaces through a post-humanist lens.
The action takes place in abandoned buildings on the outskirts of Rome. The choice of architectural space was made in order to remember forgotten places, reviving and transforming them.
Costumes made of soft silicone and biodegradable latex make an extremely physiological impression, heightening the tension between attraction and repulsion in a hybrid body.
act i: balia, separation
BALIA, the Act I, is the initial stage of transformation, the most painful and radical. It marks the separation from the past, from previous hypostasis, from the mother.
A creature with silicone-glued eyes awakens inside a makeshift womb, shaped like the body of huge woodlice. Inside the womb, there are IV fluid bags filled with soy milk. The creature moves slowly, feeling around the space of the womb and feeding on the milk, until it overflows and splashes out of the mouth, initiating the beginning of the first phase of transformation - separation from the mother, renunciation of her milk, representing separation from the past and the formation of a new individual.
act ii: limen, transition
Act II is intended to show the transitional state of the transformation of an entity. Liminality marks the maturation of a new one and is often likened to the state of an embryo inside the mother's body. It is between day and night, between two worlds.
The performer's body is suspended in the air on climbing equipment not high from the ground, about 50-100 cm from the floor. The character is clothed in a suit made of silicone drips and latex tubes sticking out of it. Elastic latex straps wrap around arms and legs like bandages. The face is hidden by a mask, depersonalizing the performer as much as possible, making him genderless and indefinite, not belonging to anything in particular, either socially or physically. This is a kind of preparation of a new organism in the process of formation, a clean sheet, a bubbling mass. At first limply hovering in the air, the creature begins to convulsively inhale. Synchronously with inhalations and exhalations, a wine-red liquid begins to flow from the tubes poking out the body, it splashes out in portions to the beat of breathing, conveying the pain of each new inhale. The creature moves with hysterical intensity, ready to transform into something new, bleeding, and tearing the old skin of the silicone suit on itself. The slow stroboscope lighting is made in order to make accent on the transitional quality of the liminal phase, it’s in-between the day and the night.
act iii: feast, reaggregation
Act III is the final stage of metamorphosis, entry into a new hypostasis, inclusion into a new role.
Crimson-red video footage of the FEAST performance shows us a room of distorted proportions, almost claustrophobic, with an implausibly low ceiling, as if compressed vertically. A black lake of burnt caramel spills on the floor of the room. Above it, on the ceiling, like a mirror reflection, the other “lake” grows, however, made up of an abundance of fruits. Grapes, melons, pumpkins, watermelons and cherries sprawled along the ceiling like on medieval still life paintings , highlighted in rich red. In the center of the still life is a performer, ravenously devouring food, positioned horizontally, facing the expanse of the caramel lake, tightly drawn by climbing slings to the surface of the ceiling. The remnants of his silicone suit are tattered and dangle like the cast-off serpent’s skin, showing that the creature has shed its old form. Wide strips of natural latex drape performer’s body, hanging in long tails, almost touching the surface of the black lake.
SKETCH FOR ACT III: FEAST, REAGGREGATION, side view
SKETCH FOR ACT III: FEAST, REAGGREGATION, front view, the ceiling
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