Performance: Saturday, April 5, 2008, 7:30 p.m.
Artists: Ron Athey (Los Angeles), Samantha Sweeting (UK) and the gyrl grip a.k.a. Llewyn Máire and Lisa Newman (Portland, Oregon
Curator: John G. Boehme
Artists' talk: Sunday, April 6, 2:00 p.m.
Open Space presented an evening of intensive performance with Ron Athey (Los Angeles), Samantha Sweeting (UK) and the gyrl grip a.k.a. Llewyn Máire and Lisa Newman (Portland, Oregon).
Viscera II was a performative investigation of the body’s physical response to external phenomenon or cultural hegemony. Curator John G. Boehme observed, “Whether it is found in the teaming machinations of the office workplace, or in the glut of body conscious media surrounding us, the base and abject response to cultural terrorism is from the gut.”
Viscera II reinvented the limits of our bodily knowledge and invoked the history of bodily representations in euro-christian iconography—how the body can be expressed as social, biotic, political, and invented. With performances by the four artists, Viscera II brought a contentious enactment of embodied action. An event expressly organized for the intellectually un-squeamish. Viscera II featured three performances:
- Ron Athey transformed his body into an object of spectacle, sandwiching it in an unhinged and weighted display unit.
- gyrl grip performed Honey is Home: Part 2, which explored the nature of intimacy, longing, and loss. In this performance, gyrl grip challenged gender roles—who is male, who is female—have either of us become a new gender?
- Samantha Sweeting’s La Nourrice was an interactive performance that invited the audience members to suckle, a quintessential mammalian activity.