Alive in a cemetery (day 190)

Just got back from the fourth installment of Paul Wong's 5 Projects.  This time it was at the MountainView cemetery.  For some reason before I went there I had visions of Halloween with spooky soundtracks and disturbing images.  It wasn't that at all.  Turns out Paul has a fascination with death in a way that I can relate to.  There were 16 works in total, each really interesting.  Some highlights:

  • Vigil 5.2 - Video documentation of Rebecca Belmore's performance at the Talking Stick Festival in 2002.  She wrote the names of the missing women in the DTES on her body and screamed out their names then ripped the leaves and petals off of flowers with her mouth.  She also nailed her dress to a pole and ripped it free.  Repeatedly.  A lot of grief.
  • 60 Unit; Bruise - First colour video from Western Front, 1976.  Paul Wong and Kenneth Fletcher exchange blood.  The video was shown at Kenneth's grave site.  He committed suicide two years after the video was shot.
  • in ten sity - an intense dance piece shot from above a padded room where bodies throw themselves about the room and each other.  Dedicated to Kenneth Fletcher.  It was projected on a petal-covered sheet underneath a tree.  A lot of grief and frustration and energy.
  • Burka - slide show of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.  The slide show was projected on the wall, with a woman (mannequin) in a burka looking at it, lit from the inside.  She is standing on what seems like traditional carpets but upon closer inspection there were woven guns and war machinery on them.  The soundtrack is a machine voice.  I wasn't able to quite make out what it was saying. It was interesting to see all the faces.  Some looked very disconnected and dead even while alive.  Others looked completely normal and happy.
  • Hungry Ghosts - A five channel piece about death.  Different types of deaths, rituals around death, talk around death, violent death, natural death.  A really touching piece.

Many other interesting pieces.  The setting of the cemetery was really amazing.  This was the best of the projects so far in my opinion.  Everything worked really well together.  I'm glad I went and gave it some time.

A song for this post.

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