at bay

at Editorial
Vilnius, Lithuania
November 24 - December 20, 2018

Tzvetnik ArtNews LT Echo Gone Wrong 7md

Opening performance – X,Y – written and performed by Ellie Hunter & Anni Puolakka.

At Bay considers the horizontal viewpoint of a bedridden figure; a forced horizontality. It’s a frustrated anesthetized sight. A sight that privileges the image plane of ceiling panels hovering parallel above her head or the eye of the lamp glaring down at her. A neck reveals sock-tipped toes and the sun rises and sets peripherally in the bedside window. Curtains meant to shield her body hang like sterile ghosts with inevitable anxious gaps between them. Their long figures seem to taunt her earthbound axis.

From this viewpoint it is necessary to leave the outline of your body. You invent layer and fold images in on themselves until they become almost entirely muted or disappeared. You join the dancing figures in the pastel-colored print on the wall peek over the curtain to the bed next door and descend to dress your bandages. You prod your collarbone and lick your hair back from your face. Hovered now nose-to-nose with yourself - at bay.

X* [singing monologue]:
How many times can we be halved?
Why can’t you leave me be?

Y: What do you mean?

X: Did you not know we were all once two-headed?

Y: Really?

X: Yeah…. We were round figures with two pairs of eyes, ears arms and legs, two sets of genitals, two noses, belly buttons, etc. We were split in half by those who were threatened by the power of our multiplicity.

Y: And?

X: This is the source for our brokenness; for our constant longing.

[ Y pretends to half X with the knife (keeping it slightly in the air or something) while X is reciting the text.. X unlinks from Y and pushes her to the ground, taking the knife and pulling her legs into a horizontal position.]

X: Looking down at myself, I wonder how many times we can be halved. Quartered and eigthed and so on. How can we even laugh at the notion of another half when we’re still trying to add 1/16 + 1/16 inside ourselves? Trying to link your spleen to my stomach, plug the hole in our liver, and then take a stab at embodiment? And how could we even start healing when you’re still busy splicing and dissecting me?

Y: Relax.

[ X places Y’s arms so that the hands go onto the other side of the curtain. X goes onto the other side of the curtain and drags Y to the other side of the curtain except for her legs. Y walks around the curtain while speaking:]

Y: You relax. You put your body parallel to mine, you rest it on sterile textile. Your breath stinks. You want to kiss me. We kiss and the smell is totally there. It mixes with my hot saliva through the tender, warm movements of our mouths, like pollution blending with a setting, round sun. Let’s go to a place called sunset in a polluted city. Let’s go to the bay. Together the sun and the pollution create a breathtaking orange…. and our cells renew until they don’t.

Y & X:

Our cells renew until they don’t.

Our cells renew until they don’t.

Our cells renew until they don’t.

Our cells renew until they don’t.

Our cells renew until they don’t.

Our cells renew until they don’t.

Our cells renew until they don’t.

Our cells renew until they don’t.

Our cells renew until they don’t.

Our cells renew until they don’t.