ON HAIR, FISTHAILS AND VOICES – BECOMING MERMAiD

site-specific performance for an audience of six at a time

performed as part of my PaR (practice-as-research) PhD in my own bathroom, Lancaster 2006

Now, when you have prepared the space, and you have all the materials and tools ready at hand, get yourself settled in the bath by taking a few deep breaths. This will get you into the spirit of the event. […] As you will know, the eyes are the doors to the soul, and mermaids usually are in desperate need of a soul. So, specially prepared goggles not only protect your eyes from the salt, but also enhance your chances of receiving a soul by increasing your eyes’ size, which, of course, means the doors to the soul are bigger than usual. […] I always recommend to study your favourite mermaid first and then aim to achieve the same elegance by copying her movements with precision. It is important to begin with simple movements before attempting the more complicated back- and side-flaps. […] You can now indulge in your metamorphosed state as long as you like. I sometimes spend a whole week in my little grotto, listening to music, singing, reading, drinking and floating.

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Images courtesy of Steph Sims

Sie tragen ihren Bauch zum Fressen
Auf fremde Schiffe wie nach Haus
Und strecken selig im Vergessen
Ihn auf die fremden Frauen aus.
Sie leben schön wie noble Tiere
Im weichen Wind, im trunknen Blau!
Und oft bestiegen sieben Stiere
Eine geraubte fremde Frau.
Oh Himmel, strahlender… (Bertolt Brecht)

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