The aesthetic is the deterioration of the human spirit, or a yielding into a self appointed guardian of the status quo, brought by the stifling outdated institutions, mass media outlets, and the monetary system. The performance involves two characters. One represents modern western man; the other represents the stifling institutions that aim to domesticate the individual. The performance progresses through various human gestures made by the man, which in turn are pacified by the institutions, yielding back to a sedative state. Each gesture the man makes represents opportunity to break through the barriers instilled by the institutions, but are then reshaped back. As the reshaping happens, a rusty sound emerges on the joints of the man’s body. An example of one of these gestures would be a fist raised above the head, symbolizing protest. Another might be palms brought together placed against the chest, symbolizing spirituality. Once these gestures form, they are shortly lived and the body returns to a neutral state by the influence of the institution character. With each passing gesture, a new joint sounds with rusty squeaks, symbolizing the deterioration and petrification of the man. Eventually all the joints are rusty, and the man falls into a chair, and sits in front of a television, or screen, or some representation of hypnotic sedation to the liking of the institution character.
At our last rehearsal, Patrice and I began to visualize how this would be choreographed, and what props, if any will exist. For now, I've begun to categorize the gestures by institutions: Healthcare, Speech, Consumerism, Religion, Politics, etc. Each category will have a gesture that represents it. I'm thinking about how each gesture will transition from one to another, and what are the best ways to express these categories via the body and movement? I'm encouraging any readers of this site to comment. But I think Patrice and I are the only who ever on here!
This project is my graduate thesis performance, which will be held March 8th, 2012 as part of Mills College's annual Signal Flow festival. More on that later.