Has it ever occurred to you that a dream is like a private myth?
Yes, and perhaps myths are but public dreams.
Are we dreaming together about today.
-from the performance text of WineBloodBloodLove (tea ceremony)
In the summer of 2005 the Station Museum in Houston, Texas commissioned this performance piece in response to Viennese Aktionist, Hermann Nitsch's, Orgies Mysteries Theatre.
WineBloodBloodLove contrasts Nitsch's themes of violence, bodily materiality and quasi religious ritual with the forced decorum, false gentility, and secularized ritual at play in contemporary society. The work suggests that there is an insidious violence that lies beneath the cool, clean, sheen of present day culture and that interpersonal relations remain as brutal as ever.
Nine speakers were put in place throughout the gallery. A handcrafted gong hung in front of each speaker. The gongs were caused to vibrate sympathetically with sonic triggers from the speakers which then amplified a computer generated algorythmic response to the ringing of the gongs.
5 actions took place in the space.
Phase I Cleansing with sound
Performers walk ceremoniously through all rooms with copper chimes in each hand.
Phase II A gentile tea
Performers sip tea and discuss the impossibility of comprehending their hostile urges towards others. Layered voice samples create an imagined inner dialogue that rings throughout the space.
Phase III Drawing of the blood
Performers use aseptic technique and contemporary medical supplies to draw each other's blood from veins in the hands and arms. Blood is stored in vials attached to the chest of each performer. Nine gongs are caused to ring sympathetically in response to trigger audio from nine speakers positioned within the space.
Phase IV Sharing of the wine
Performers cheerfully serve wine to audience members. The recorded sounds of chimes from Phase I are digitally reprocessed and spatialized across nine channels in real time.
Phase V Drinking of the blood
Performers toast with vials of each others blood. Recorded gong sounds from Phase III are digitally reprocessed and spatialized across nine channels once again causing physical gongs to ring sympathetically.