Untitled (Tales of Genealogy & Gynecology), 2019

Performative act on the closing day of the show ‘Two In A Coffin’ 

Audio track interpreted by Kate Olson, transmitted on VOX amplifier, 12min44 Diagram on blanket (150cm x 180cm), iron chain and wax mould, embroidered modified trucker jacket 

The performative act reflects on the protection of offspring and other personalia (personal possessions) in parenthood and understands the latter as a form of self-imposed jurisdiction. 

The audio of an original text in the form of a ballad of short stanzas made of repetitions and rhymes, plays inside Marwan for a dedicated audience. 

The text narrates about street violence, the pathologizing of fears in child psychology, the perceived obligation of parents to transform fears into storytelling, in the horizon of a desert. Its audio rendition is interpreted with a carefree tone by actress Kate Olson (Art to DAI, and Kate – see later projects), whose enunciation of the ballad is obstructed by an imposition of delivering while eating sand cookies.

In Marwan, the setting for the act is the work Viability Test, a clay flooding executed for the exhibition Two in A Coffin (in collaboration with Isabelle Sully, see next project) and in the state of complete dryness at the time of the performance. While the text reflects on personal vicissitudes, it plays on a constant reference to a vision of a desert. In the context of the performative act, desert is the frontier of personal risks, the terrains in which private matters are handled and the consequences of parenting are established. A figure for risk and survival in insurance language, the desert is also a trope in labour and contract theory, representing the land to be claimed back by human work. Additionally, it refers to moral consequences in endeavours, which merits could be either good or bad. 

A series of references within the audio/ text suggest possible fictional links between the story narrated and the street in which the artist space is located. The listeners’ attention is invited to swing between the inside (where the VOX amplifier is delivering) and the outside of Marwan where I am reiterating a gesture of falling backwards and sliding down against Marwan’s windowed glass. This suggests the violence witnessed and recalled in the ballad by the riff of Thirty bullet shot in a street and killing a family man. 

Accompanying the performative act, a diagram illustrates the universe of the Tales of Genealogy & Gynecology that comprehends the work developed on the topic of reproductive obligations from 2016 onward, starting with the proposition of Art to DAI and Last Will and Testament. The material choices and the design convey the message of protection from self-harm protection and functions as a backdrop for the desert.