Strangling the love out of each other while guest André-Éric Létourneau checks his pulse and tracks his blood flow using a medical device. We placed contact mics on each other’s throats. The throats swallowed, the strangling arms shook and sweated.
Performed at Casa del Popolo, Montréal, July 29, 2000. An excerpt appeared on the CD accompanying Christof Migone’s Sound Voice Perform (Errant Bodies Press, 2005). This version of l’étranglement lasts the total duration of the performance. The video was edited and mixed in 2021 (glitches in video courtesy of mismatched codecs). Audio reedited and remixed in 2022 for this publication.
Inspired by Vito Acconci’s video Waterways: 4 Saliva Studies (1971), Alexandre uses a CD to welcome his spit, and Christof slowly tilts his spit bottle. Both videos were performed in 2001 and mixed together in 2021. The soundtrack to the original piece by Acconci (used by permission) as well as undo’s remix, Vito Acconci’s undoing, appeared on a CD release by squint fucker press in 2001 (squint 00D). Audio reedited and remixed in 2021 for this publication.
Stuffing canned snails into our mouths, ears, noses—we mined our bucal cavities for fluid sonorities—then we deranged our electronics.
The recording of the performance in a kitchen on the Plateau in Montréal appeared on the last track of undo’s (Christof Migone & Alexandre St-Onge) first publication and the inaugural release of squint fucker press in 2000, un sperme qui meurt de froid en agitant faiblement sa petite queue dans les draps d’un gamin (squint 00A). The same year we performed the piece in front of a live audience at the No Music Festival in London, Ontario. The contorted textual component in the video is from “Turn, turn, turn: undo’s dizzy tactics”, a performative presentation presented at the first Tuning Speculation: Experimental Aesthetics and the Sonic conference, November 1-2, 2013, at Arraymusic in Toronto. The video of the performance was edited and mixed in 2021. Audio reedited and remixed in 2022 for this publication.
One, laying flat along a corridor. Two, hiding in a small space. Three, holding the arm of the other.
Disclosure was performed four times over three days for the PUBLIC SPACES/PRIVATE PLACES series curated by Paul Couillard for FADO, June 28-30, 2001. The location was an empty apartment at 228 1/2 Parliament St., Toronto.
An excerpt of the audio plus photo documentation and the artist statement were originally published in Surface Tension: Problematics of Site (Errant Bodies Press, 2003). The video of the performance was edited and mixed in 2021. Audio reedited and remixed in 2022 for this publication.
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. we have closed all the windows and doors, during a heatwave. it is stifling. a dimmer jerry-rigged with a small motor dims the two bare light bulbs up and down up continuously. the motor buzzes, it overheats at times interrupting the dimming until it cools down. the abandoned rooming house oozes its past. paul, the curator, found 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. after lie we move upstairs and we begin by taking unhinged doors to block ourselves in. one in a bathroom, the other in a closet. two small black and white tv monitors are in the room which includes the closet and is adjacent to the bathroom, they show a live feed from the inside of the cramped enclosures. two 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 scribble 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. duration: 20 minutes.
hold. site: room on third floor facing street. 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. one holding the other for as long as possible. hand to forearm. both outstretched. 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 sleeping in, just barely. on the last day we noticed a bullet hole in one of the windows, it seemed to have originated from inside. duration: 15 minutes.