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Isztván Kovács

first performed on April 28, 2018
Cross Attic, Prague, Czech Republic
performed once in 2018


London, UK


An active speculation upon the temporality of the human as one among many decaying forms, haunted by imagined pasts, presents and futures, unexplored territories, communications with the unknown, and by the vast unknowable both without and within the human body. Manifestations of primal and cultural anxieties, in decay, corruption, and impurity; and through the emergence of hybrid forms and figures; disrupting the borders of the human, and of “civilization.”

A performance created from my interaction with various objects found within an attic site in Prague, which suggested particular actions to me. These were combined with objects and sound-making devices bought with me to the site. I created a list of actions to be carried out within the performance and from which I further improvised on; immersed, I lost myself in the various sensations, materials, sound and actions, approaching a realm of unknowing.

My amplified glossolalia and vocal improvisations were electronically channelled via radio-mic through a sculptural sound object, producing a rhythmic cacophony, distorting and masking my voice, which was further channelled to a lamp which flickered when activated by these sounds.

Seated on a chair, I poured a yeast mixture from a metal cooking pot over my head and covered my head with a cloth veil of yeast, its smell filling the room. I stumbled around the room blindly, choking, groping on the floor for various objects. I lay down on the remaining springs of a mattress. Convulsing, I used a bundle of rags and sticks as a mock-phallus.

Donning a mask of sewn rags, I read my poems. I scraped a violin bow against the sharp top of a food can until the bow broke. I shook and beat a large, entangled lump of bedsheets covered in dried mud against the floor, then I climbed part of the attic structure. I played with creature-like bundles of rags and sticks on the floor like dolls and individually trapped them in large glass jars and in a small cage atop a trolley table.

Opening an old suitcase, I took out an old German book, a plate, a fork, and some buttons and placed them on a small wooden table. I attempted to eat the yeast covered veil, buttons and rags off the plate with the fork and choked. I improvised vocally, gibbering, singing, and plucking musically at the amplified cage.