Mercy is a Warrior
On the Boards has been very generous in allowing Josephine's Echopraxia to perform TWO pieces at the next 12 Minutes Max
There is some misinformation on the site so I thought I would write a little blog about the two pieces to be performed.
First is Mercy is a Warrior presented in the foyer elevator during intermission. For this I will be joined by Tobi Nussbaum. This duet is in effect dance as social protest and you will see the costuming is representative of powerless, isolation and deprivation and [while not sourced directly from] is in line with the dramatic images of protestors around the globe. I have long been experimenting with binding and bandaging in my costuming, this has occasionally been misconstrued as fetish wear and now is being loosely identified with some sort of comment on disability, while these are fertile performance grounds I am not sure I am the right person to address either one. I am more interested in this costuming as a metaphor for restriction and damage perpetuated upon an individual by social, political, economic and cultural forces.
Mercy is a Warrior will be the first time I incorporate blindfolding, gagging and earplugs. Like political protestors I am interested in intensifying the content by increasing the level of commitment [or risk or discomfort] of the performer. I first approached this sort of performance with On second thought maybe I don't want to be your trophy wife. In which the gender political message is underlined and highlighted by the physical trials of having chilled water poured over the performer's blinking eyes and grinning lips as industrial size fans bring visible goosebumps to the surface of a barely clothed woman teetering and shivering in ridiculous shoes.
However unlike political protests Mercy is a Warrior is not addressing a particular topic but the notion of mercy in general. The idea of individual vulnerability and the responsibility of community. How we are all at the mercy of one another in EVERYTHING WE DO, we are each individually powerless against the will of the collective. I have been thinking of how often in life one has the chance of granting mercy to another but how our 'grab what you can' culture encourages us in the opposite direction and how often we confuse strength with violence, aggression and competition instead of empathy and generosity. It takes far more strength to share and understand than it does to steamroll one another. It takes more strength to bite your tongue than to lash out. It takes more strength to withstand than to attack.
So this is not a fetish piece, not about transgender binding, this is not about impairment or disability or a gimmicky performance trick it is contemplating mercy and putting myself in a place where I have to rely on the mercy of others, in a position where mercy is the only option. A protest asking for us to consider the way we can increase mercy in every aspect of our lives and eventually hopefully in larger global ways.
The second piece is a solo originally created for the Unicycle Collective's Monolodge 6 in spring 2009 as Suppress now called Turn a blind eye. This solo is about domestic violence as the theme for Monolodge 6 was Love's Tangled Web.
There is no relation between the two pieces other than that they are both made by the same person.
Big Ups to OTB for letting me show not one but two short works!
Come see both pieces Mercy is a Warrior and Turn a blind eye. Be sure to come to the front lobby at intermission to catch Mercy is a Warrior in the elevator.
Next Sunday and Monday Dec 12 and 13 at 7pm at On the Boards Studio Theater, 100 West Roy St, Seattle WA, 98119,
Tickets for 12MM are $8 and are only available one hour before show time in the Studio lobby (No advance sales)
Also- Don't forget to make a year end gift to Josie! https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=30857
ps [added on 12/6] I would say this image by Hannah Wilke would have something to do with it too. Bandaging as a means of healing, but also protection- an armor against future attack. A visible representation of both the vulnerability of the self, but also the resiliency and potential for self-repair.