January 20, 2018 | 7:30 p.m.
January 20, 2018 | 9:30 p.m.
Written and directed by Mexico City artist Naomi Rincón Gallardo, The Formaldehyde Trip is a cycle of songs and videos dedicated to murdered Mixtec activist Alberta “Bety” Cariño, performed live with crafty and ornate props, and echoes from Mexican B-side Sci-Fi films of the 60s and 70s. The Formaldehyde Trip weaves together Mesoamerican cosmologies, feminist activism and theory and indigenous women’s struggle for their bodies and their territories. The work imagines Bety Cariño’s journey through the underworld where she encounters women warriors, witches and widows, the dual-gendered goddess of death and animals preparing her rebirth party. An axolotl (Mexican salamander) in formaldehyde is the story-teller who agitates between fact, fiction and friction.
January 25, 2018 | 7 p.m.
January 25, 2018 | 9 p.m.
Gifts of the Spirit: Prophecy, Automatism and Discernment is Ron Athey's vision for an "automatic writing machine" brought to life in collaboration with the composer Sean Griffin as a performance/installation made up of 16 writers, six typists, a hypnotist, vocalists, and musicians. In this work, the artist "completes" his memoir ("Gifts of the Spirit") together in ecstatic communion with his collaborators. This living machine makes a tightly choreographed and scored visual spectacle bringing together writing, reading and listening into a layered performative action resulting in a collectively authored text and sound score.
Athey has been writing his memoir since 1980 when he moved away from the Pentecostal and Spiritualist practices in which he was raised. His writing describes the experience of having been raised as a living saint within an environment of abuse, vibrating with the energy of the otherworldly, but doing so without faith. The deconsecrated cathedral of St. Vibiana provides the perfect venue for this work, which strips faith from ritual and presents the orchestration of ecstatic states as art.
Gifts of the Spirit is co-produced by VOLUME, and has been made possible in part by a grant from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Guest-curated for VOLUME by Jennifer Doyle.
Please note that tickets to this program do not include admission to the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors special exhibition, which will be closed after January 1, 2018.