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Teeth in the Wrong Places (2004)

Teeth in the Wrong Places combines the narration of a Ponca-Otoe Native American folktale with a slow, time-based performance. As the story unfolds of Coyote’s seduction by two young women with gnashing teeth in their vaginas, a richly alluring mouth slowly chews and regurgitates material. The performer’s gaze with the audience is one of controlled temptation and latent violence. The undermining of traditional narratives of power leak through the film via ironic humour and magnetic confrontations with the audience.

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.

 

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