Joan Morey—postmortem judgement reenactment
Cover Story, November 2018
Joan Morey’s COLLAPSE is a three-part project curated by Latitudes. Six one-off performances are integral to the first, a survey exhibition at the Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona — Fabra i Coats. Comprising reenactments of scenes excerpted from a selection of Morey’s projects from the last fifteen years exploring the use and misuse of control, these live-action fragments encompass dramatic orations, tableaux vivants, and ritualistic exercises following the artist’s rules.
The first took place on 27 September. POSTMORTEM. Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu (2006–07) was interpreted by the magnetic Sònia Gómez wearing a pair of loudspeakers that played extracts from Antonin Artaud’s reading of his notorious 1947 radio play To have done with the judgement of God. Artaud was commissioned by French Radio after he had spent almost a decade in various asylums. Shelved the day before its scheduled broadcast due to its violently scatological references, raw anti-religious content, and anti-American vitriol, the play was never aired. Artaud died the following year. In Gómez’s interpretation of Morey’s instructions, the human body became a crawling and indeterminate animal-thing, as if an arachnoid presence with a feline instinct. Burdened by devices which only served to amplify tortured words, mewls, and howls, the body prowled around the exhibition space, carrying Artaud’s screed with it and his voice’s constant evocation of bare emotions, obscenities, and the remaking of anatomy and autonomy.
The remaining three performance extracts take place on 15 November at 7pm (BAREBACK. Phenomenology of Communion, 2010. Interpreted by Manuel Segade); 29 November 2018 at 5pm (IL LINGUAGGIO DEL CORPO. Prologue), 2015–2016. Interpreted by Catalina Carrasco and Gaspar Morey); and 13 December at 7pm (TOUR DE FORCE. The Utopian Body, 2017. Interpreted by Eduard Escoffet).
The second part of COLLAPSE opens at the Centre d’Art Tecla Sala, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat on 23 November and is the definitive version of the touring exhibition Social Body. Titled Schizophrenic Machine, the third comprises a major new Joan Morey performance event that will take place in January 2019 at an especially resonant location – whose identity remains, for the time being, deliberately undisclosed.