Spills is a time-based performance that magnifies the detail through rich language and the slow, repetitive movement of a mouth. This image, which obscures boundaries between pleasure and pain, settles into the background as an intimate story unfolds of clinical neglect. The straight forward, raw narration of an abortion divulges the complexity of power dynamics between social mores and personal struggle for dignity and reproductive freedom. Going beyond the simple pro/con debate, Spills reveals the burden of social control over private experience.
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.