CONCEPT: Once in a dream, it happened that the steam from breath made wet the skin of another and the gravity of permanence struck so deep into the heart of the fallen that hope forgot to register. The tears of each tiny sorrow had left a pool upon the floor and beside that crystal decay, was spied wings and in their singular detachment, bare breasted and weighted, the crushing force of love, like the aftermath of a king tide, remained. Strange song vibrated as culmination of energies met and with one hand upon the floor and another reaching upwards, the darkest of transgressions lay open; gaping wound, infected with emptiness.
Once in a dream, where wings were being stitched into the flesh of a fallen angel…
Performance by Predrag Pajdic with Anthony Thévenoux
Taxidermy by Mathieu Miljavac
And the original music score by Benjamin Gibert
2 March 2013 from 3 – 5.30pm
Wrong Weather Gallery, Porto, Portugal
ACTION: Two figures sit either side of a table, cut flowers in a vase providing the only splash of colour. One figure sits blindfolded, his face covered with many pairs of wings arranged as a mask that doesn’t see. The second figure impeccably dressed in a dinner suit wearing a crown also made of birds’ wings, watches him. Each of them sits motionless for two hours. A small black briefcase is beside the watcher and wings rest on side stools. Beneath the brightly coloured flowers upon the table, are discarded snake skins. This setting in its viewing, in its blindness, single light illuminating, challenges to wonder whether it is a metaphor for heaven or hell? Or perhaps this is purgatory, the waiting and stillness of the two men, ticking like time, beating like the intermittent sound of the heartbeat that rings through the space, in parts.
After two hours, to the sounds of flapping wings, the watcher stands and taking a large pair of scissors cuts through the collar of the other’s shirt then violently rips it open to expose the blindfolded figure’s back. The powerful dominance gives way to surgical intervention; he uses a needle and thread to stitch into the skin between the shoulder blades, and attaches the wings which have been waiting.
Now, exposed with newly acquired wings, the blindfolded figure doesn’t begin to move until the watcher stands before him. Tenderly, as the wind blows life into the sail of a boat, the watcher breathes life into this fallen angel.
Uncoordinated, like a child who has just discovered how to walk, the angel, struggles to ascend, awkwardly captured by the spell of the song which is being sung by the watcher who walks away. As he pushes away from his seat, limbs learning to move, arms spread out to keep his balance, all he has to follow is the sound of a voice, moving away.
Each note becomes his strength as his eyesight cannot help him navigate the distance. Precariously he moves across the floor, focusing on each step taken on unsteady legs but gains strength, yearning to follow the watcher, until an exit out behind closed doors leaves the viewer to wonder whether having been a witness to the end of something or the resurrection of another. Has the dead been brought back to life? Is the work of the psychopomp no longer needed in the shadows of new life, new hope and the yearning that love instils?