Cannibal O

An intimate evening of feminist cannibalism hosted around a circular dining table, premiered at Intermedia Gallery (CCA Glasgow) on the 17th of April 2019.

Eight women, alongside performance artist Liv Fontaine and myself as host, are invited to sit together, drink red wine and consume female authored art. In keeping with the decor, guests wear burgundy, pink or mauve toned attire.

The event consists of four courses: a starter of my written barf (published by PSS), followed by a screening of Carolee Schneemann’s Fuses and a digitalised version of Hot Readings by Erica Scourti. For dessert, a newly commissioned live performance I’m the People Pleaser, by Liv Fontaine, is served.

The work presented made use of appropriation and digestion as performative acts of self-construction, while investigating the eroticised female body. The event explored acts of hosting in the gap between art institution and domestic spaces, and the complicit agencies subtending female relationships.

Setting and Theatricality

A round cabaret table is positioned inside a 4m diameter O formed out of mauve, satin curtains. This enormous textile O hangs in the middle of a darkened gallery with overhanging profiles lighting its interior, creating a theatrical setting for all activities to desenvolved within. This staging places audience, artist and host within a shared enclosed space, making performers of everyone, while emphasising the corporeality of the objects and bodies contained within.

On the periphery of the curtain, a CUBE TV on a plinth (to play Fuses), and a flat-screen monitor on a K Stand (to play Hot Readings), are placed at 90 degrees from each other. Before each screening, I unveil the respective monitor, push it inside the O, then press play. Once the film has ended, I push the monitor out of the circle and close the curtains.

Throughout the evening photographer Isobel Lutz-Smith moves around the outside the circle, softly pulling curtains aside at different points and inserting her camera’s lens in, in order to document the performances taking place.

Installation details: circular rail with satin curtains (4m diameter x 1.98m), cabaret table (1.8m diameter), white table cloth, 10 clear wine glasses, 3 bottles of wine, 10 chapbooks wrapped in cellophane (risograph print, saddle stitched), CUBE TV on plinth, VHS player, flat screen monitor on k-stand, media player.

Photography: Isobel Lutz-Smith

Supported by the CCA, Creative Scotland Open Project Fund and Hope Scott Trust.