Sex and Death
2015, 03:24 minutes, black and white, English
The performer re-frames the Freudian tension between eros and thanatos using the feminist tradition of performance for video. She repeats the locution “sex and death and sex and death and sex and death” aloud as she shimmies across the screen. The formal integrity of the loop meets the failures of the body, as the performer playfully moves across the screen, trying to catch her breath to continue the spell-like invocation. Sex and death— the drive toward binding (eros) and the drive toward destruction (thanatos)— are configured by Freud to be the two fundamental drives behind Western civilization. In this video, the Freudian tension is taken up through a floundering, vaguely sexual performance. The function of humour is something which has been increasingly (re)claimed by Canadian feminist video and performance artists in recent years, and is something that I find both politically efficacious and formally refreshing.
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