Anachronistic Rites of the Mundane – A.R.M.
“I am the most holy of holys, I am an a-holy, I am the most holy”
Performed as part of Tom Sarver’s Art Olympics, featuring fellow collaborators David Pohl and Kate Hansen.
Influenced by films such as Meetings of Remarkable Men, The Color of Pomengranates, The Turin Horse and Hara Kiri, the name Anachronistic Rites of the Mundane emerged and a vision that calls into play the mundanity of not only everyday life, but at times the mundanity of art making grew and became clearer.
I wanted to highlight the ritualistic manner in which we do things, everyday things, artistic things.
Feed the dog. Water the plants. Drink Coffee. Sweep the floor. Stretch the canvas. Make the marks.
So, I created a script, an outline of actions and approaches, wherein we would follow our mundane patterns but veer drastically in fighting the rigidity of the pattern. Our end goal was to create a space, a “conclave” of sorts in which to sit and meditate.
In the script, I outlined the spaces:
- Suitcase Station – center stage right
- Artifacts Depot-center stage left.
- Exaltation Area-upstage right
- Libations Area- right center and left center
I then further outlined our movements as such:
- Ceremonial Entrance – entered playing a Thai reed instrument.
- Opening Ceremony – our Artistic Statement-“I am the most holy of holys, I am an a-holy, I am the most holy” Sung and repeated.
- Retrieving of the Magical Amulets– removing our bagged items from the suitcase.
- The Cleansing – cleansing of the space and feet.
- The Emergence – Kate and David covered in cloth and stapled to the floor to cut their way out of.
- Reviewing the Artifacts– review items provided by Art Olympics, accept and reject. Use the acceptable items.
- Twisting of Time – use of timers to schedule eating and drinking of coffee times.
- Building the Conclave – create a conclave and sit in it till the end.
- In between, we consulted the Ouija board to gain insight for our next direction.
I made myself a DOG, in a juvenile play on the word GOD and wore a suit of supposed authority. I prefer a performative vision wherein participants feel free enough to create their own character and actions within the context of the “script”. Kate and David did just that and the script continued to morph and reshape itself based on their input and ideas.
Kate Hansen aka “Big Bang” and David Pohl “Great Mystery”, in some respects, represented the creative forces of joy and destruction. Their roles were more fluid and interactive, while my role was to maintain time and structure, be that mundane TOP DOG. Kate and David interacted with the audience by photographing them, putting beet juice on their foreheads and writing and throwing “hate” notes to the audience.
The poem I recited, while Big Bang and the Great Mystery were carving their way out of the cloth, talks about the time that I ran from gang members into the Mattress Factory and locked the door. Art literally saving my arse.
One foggy day
I was on my way
When a gang spotted me in the wrong colors
They began to chase
Hoot and holler
I ran for my life
Made a right
And headed for the Mattress Factory
I locked the door
To the surprise of the attendant
Gang members banged and shouted
She stood in awe
& I said to her
You might not want to open that door for awhile
While we had this structure outlined, minutes into the performance, fluidity and chaos took place and many things were rearranged or approached differently. This is where it’s key to have team members who know how to dance around the book while we are still on the same page.
What can I say. Ruff Ruff Ruff. It was fantastic. Thank you Kate and David for diving into the madness and emerging with beet juice and roti powder on your feet.