Concoctions moves through the spaces of a clinical environment with embodied camerawork and a surveillance aesthetic. The intimacy of the camerawork in Concoctions combines with the sterility of the environment to grasp moments of tenderness and hostility within the same clinical space. Texts from Aristotle, a Greek physician from the 6th century A.D. named Aetios of Amida, and modern gynecology instructions narrate this exploration of space. Absurdity, desire, apprehension and suspense infuse the narration, exposing the folkloric edges of medical knowledge.
The trilogy of La Specola, including Teeth in the Wrong Places, Concoctions and Spills, creates shifting roles of performance and storytelling that complicate the power dynamics of medical scopic regimes. Within the three videos, historical and contemporary ideas intermingle to form a portrait of our relationship to gender, the body’s viscera, and the conditioning of embodiment set forth by myth and medicine.
Many thanks to: Culture, Brain and Development grant for La Specola: Medical Examination & Archetypes of the Vagina Dentata interactive multimedia installation (Hampshire College & The Foundation for Psycho-Cultural Research); H.I.P. grant for performance art & exhibition; Collective Image grant for photographic art; Samuel Butler; Brian Kendall; Michael Dessen; Mariangeles Soto-Diaz; Christoph Cox; Baba Hillman; Megan Palaima; Ben Mauer; Elena Bayrock; Zane Thimmesch-Gill; Nadia Berrigan; Gary Berrigan.