Archive for the ‘ Exercise 22:MáquinaL (Bondage)’ Category

Exercise 22:MáquinaL (Bondage)

6 March 2010

Director: Txomin Badiola

Venue: Proforma Studio

Special Invited: Itziar Bilbao Urrutia. The Madame Tytania Experience

Laocoön’s countenance, as Lessing explained, renounces the expression of physical pain -a theme that, according to his theory, is adequate for poetry but not for the visual arts- transforming it into an ambiguous gesture where pain and pleasure, awareness of self and abandonment, mysticism and sexuality, Eros and Thanatos, life and death, blend into a kind of moral stance. Not in vain, Laocoön’s face, after being unearthed in the 16th century, became the model for all ecstasy, from the crucified to the mystical trance of the saints.

Certain practices such as SM are vindicated by queer theory, which raises them out of the realm of perversion or deviation to consider them an exercise in subversion of normative sexualities. Some of these practices imply a play on representation that is not too far removed from Catholic iconography and in particular from the Counter-Reformation mysticism that was modelled to a great extent on Laocoön.

The purpose of this exercise is to generate a collective action involving its participants on the level of the body and the mind. It seeks to reconstruct the Laocoön group (a father with his two sons connected by bonds of life and death) using rope bondage -a form of stagecraft derived from the practices of SM. This stagecraft is useful to us because it adheres to a strict pattern, in such a way that, in slipping and sliding between both worlds, we can generate a new field of reference, which is currently unpredictable but constitutes the exercise’s ultimate aim. The action will also be recorded, generating a volume of material that will allow us to inquire into these new fields of reference independently from the original premises.

The action shall be carried out by The Madame Tytania Experience, a guest artist who specialises in rope bondage. During the session, she will tie up three bodies, adhering to the protocols of her activity and applying its specific techniques. She will execute the bondage in such a way that the bodies will be partially immobilised, defining a pose that replicates each of the three figures in the Laocoön group sculpture. In manipulating the bodies, she will be assisted by three teams. The teams shall transfer each of the bodies onto a plinth. Once they are placed next to each other in their correct pose, the artist will bind the three bodies together, in such away that the living group sculpture is self-supporting. It shall then be left to its own devices until the whole self-implodes.




_____Itziar Bilbao Urrutia. The Madame Tytania Experience

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