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photos: Paul Couillard
lie. site: corridor, second floor. laying flat on our backs with a small speaker coming down from the ceiling into our open mouths, the voice of one is heard via the mouth cavity of the other. as they come up the stairs, the audience encounters the longitudinal line of our bodies, they have to step over one set of feet to enter the site. we have closed all the windows and doors, during a heatwave. it is stifling. a dimmer jerry rigged with a small motor to dim up and down up continuously is our only source of light. the motor buzzes, it overheats at times interrupting the dimming temporarily. we have bare bulbs running down from the ceiling beside the speakers going into our mouths. the abandoned rooming house oozes its past. paul, the curator, had found a syringe and a court summons for a case of bodily harm in the kitchen as he cleaned up the place for us. to occupy an empty apartment is to fill it with its own emptiness, to saturate it with nothing. to disclose is to open yourself up to closeness, a reduction of distance, a proximate and narrow. how to read a corridor as a throat.
duration: 30 minutes
close. site: bathroom and closet, third floor. two, cramped. after lie we move upstairs and to begin we take unhinged doors and block ourselves in. one in bathroom, the other in closet. two small black and white tv monitors are in the room which includes closet and is adjacent to bathroom, they have a live feed from the enclosures and show details of the performances. two guitar amplifiers are in a windowless room diffusing the sound we produce inside. we swallow our mouths. a reduction of distance, a proximate and narrow. how to read a closet as a mouth. how to speak here, in the next room and in the other’s mouth. in the closet we found a note written on the wall above the threshold, only visible if one is standing inside the closet: Whoever is reading this message, God bless you and congratulations ‘cos you are one of the few in this world who has read this. This message was written by someone who is going to be very famous one day. [illegible signature] 1992.
duration: 20 minutes (variable)
hold. site: room on third floor facing street. one holding the other for as long as possible. hand to forearm. both outstretched. at the end of close, one ends before the other (we would alternate over the three days we performed). that person removes the door, and goes to the room, lifts one arm to stomach level, and leaves it outstretched. the other, once done, undoes the barricade and comes over to hold the awaiting arm. two bare speakers lie on the floor beside us, one sits on top of the other. one speaks, the other listens, they feed back and create a rhythmic tic. bare speaker, barely speaking. to enclose is both to hold and to be held by your own grip. we both shake and waver imperceptibly. It began getting very boring. Nothing happened. I felt like I was in a trance. I looked again. They seemed to exist outside of time. Then I became acutely aware I had observed them earlier as specimens, but now felt their humanity (lucie sparham reviewing the performance for lola, fall 2001 issue). after each performance we would get the mattresses we had stored in the abandoned restaurant on the ground floor and reinstall ourselves in this room. the only one where we felt comfortable, barely. on the last day we noticed a bullet hole in one of the windows, it seemed to have originated from inside.