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Melissa Gaudet

first performed on March 13, 2019
920 Commerce street in participation with RADAR performance art night, Las Vegas, NV
performed once in 2019


Las Vegas, NV


I feel the press of the participants as I hold high in my right hand the leg bone of a rooster I slaughtered the previous winter, a swatch of red fabric tied to it. Abstract guitar wails bounce off the wall a crowd-turned-mob rivets my body into. I roar on the nature of anger, its suppression and eventualities, in ad-libbed prose over a mass of voices. “The thing about anger” is my chorus. The audience replies with grunts, shoulders, elbows, knees, and the occasional instruction to “hold his face / legs / arms!”

The performance lasts until I say stop. In total, it times out around three and a half minutes of sound and fury.

“Bone Songs” is a series of actions / poems attempting to make corporeal the spirit of undesirable emotions in four parts: deception, pain, anger, and sorrow. For anger, my request was for active participants to pin me to the wall while my collaborator Joshua Chévere Cohen, a musician, and noise artist, provided an aggressive soundtrack. A communal mock mosh pit is generated in excavation of the hostility that undeniably lies within our hearts.

“The thing about anger is that it always gets the fuck out!” I recall yelling during this exchange, but my release was only provided after gasping the word “stop!” My body now a ball of sweat sliding down a wall, cooling, but still red-faced with exhaustion. The rooster bone now in my left hand, somehow transitioned during the fray. All sound dissipates as my once suppressors pull me to my feet with the same generosity of spirit as their previous engagement.