I just got home from home, the new site-specific performance from (and featuring) Noemie LaFrance. So I’m going to start by saying I liked the piece. I really enjoyed it; I found it fascinating and engaging and I loved the way Noemie involved the intimate audience in the performance.
The “helpers” were great, Mare Hieronimus is just beautiful and stunning to watch, alternately feral and ethereal, playful and somber. Noemie herself is, well, pregnant. Really, really pregnant. One of the most beautiful moments in the piece is when she is naked, on the table (we’re all seated around a big banquet table), arranging a series of Russian Nesting dolls while whispering “something inside something inside something…” She looks so full: full with child, her breasts full with milk; that I found myself astonished, wondering what it must feel like to be so completely full. Full to bursting.
That all being said, as much as I enjoyed the performance and my attention never wavered, I found myself puzzled. home, as a performance, seems to hover in that space between postmodern abstract reinvented ritual and wimmin-centric earth-mother cycle of life nature ritual. I can’t tell whether its really cool performance art or Noemie’s “hippie earth mother phase”. I guess I just have to let go of the whole “either/or” thing and embrace it for what it is – a mystical performance ritual and journey through the cycles of life from birth to death to birth. Also the cycle of the planet from farmland to city to industrial wasteland to darkness to renewal. Also the cycle of woman – from mother to feral “woman who runs with the wolves” to subjugated house maid to sex kitten to business woman to mother to grave.
I’m not going to say more specifically because I think you should see the show and judge for yourself. It is pretty cool and very, um, hands-on. Also I am thinking back to the Agora piece and realizing that it too had this epic scope, this swirling vortex of eternity in microcosm, the ebb and flow of spacetime. So the more I think about it, the more I come down on the side of “successful performance art reinvented ritual” with maybe a touch of hippie earth mother stuff to keep things from being too darn self-serious.
Check it out. Enjoy the antlers.
April 1-5 & 8-12, 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM (Wed-Sun)
Above photo by Rachel Kramer Bussel. More pix here.