performance space drawing by Lin Hixson
Inspired by the concept of pilgrimage,
and researched and created in the USA, UK and Ireland over a two-year period,
this piece explores innocence, violence, loss, responsibility and mourning.
Collaged performance texts derive from movies (The 39 Steps, The Harp of Burma,
Grand Illusion, Akira Kurosawa's Dreams), the carnival testimony of America's
fattest man Mike Walker (1,187 lbs), documentary sources ("Amelia Earhart,
Aviation Pioneer"), and original writing. Choreography ranges from the slightest
silent idiosyncratic twitch to frenetic dance accompanied by Japanese techno-pop music.
The pilgrimage structure informs the work through spatial form and durational
structure, as the four performers undergo transformations and embodiments of
flight, memory, gravity. A heavyweight boxer speaks in a language before meaning;
Mr Memory, the human encyclopedia, becomes a helpless victim of his immobility to
forget; a woman pilot breaks all air-speed records then disappears only to return
immobilized as the fattest man in history; the ghost of a massacred soldier,
unable to accept his own unjust death, tries one last time to return to his home.
Created by: Karen Christopher, Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixson (director), Antonio Poppe,
Bryan Saner and Mark Jeffery, Greg McCain, Timothy McCain.
Commissioned by: Arnolfini Live (Bristol, UK) and Centre for Contemporary
Arts (Glasgow, UK).