World Premiere

Dance, Performance

Jan 31 - Feb 4


David Thomson (USA)
he his own mythical beast

A meditation on the mythologies and contradictions of identity, race, gender, and the black body in post-modern American culture.

he his own mythical beast interrogates the complexities of American culture and draws from Hitchcock’s Rear Window, James Baldwin, the confession booth, Claudia Rankine, high school fights, Judith Butler, baptism, Roland Barthes, and Trisha Brown. Venus, a character that flirts with black face, gender ambiguity and sexuality, becomes a guide on this journey. Part beast and part myth, Venus is named after the Hottentot Venus, aka Sarah Baartman – an enslaved black woman who was exhibited as an exotic in the early 19th Century London and Paris. This code-shifting chimaera is Thomson’s response to the post-modern performance aesthetic that historically privileged neutrality as a means of subverting the personal narrative.

This project has consisted of several iterative installations and performances that began in 2012 and will culminate in January. It is created and co-directed by David Thomson, who also performs, and features sound and visual design by Peter Born, who also serves as co-director. Clarinda Mac Low is the dramaturg. Other performers include: Jodi Bender, Katrina Reid, and Paul Hamilton.

“[Thomson’s work is] complex and resonant” – Brian Seibert, The New York Times

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