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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Mau ke Bulan - A Journey to the Dark Side of the Moon

A performance that investigates the dark (Lilith) side of the Moon and Mothers. Held at T-Art Space, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Comment By Simbi:
We all know mothers have their dark sides just like anyone and some of
us believe the idealization of mothers is oppressive to culture and
society, as well as mothers, creating layers of shame, guilt, denial,
manipulation, and deception.  We decided to dive into the dark sides
of our mothers while at the same time finding our own dark side, using
Dark Moon Lilith as a representation.  Astrologically I am a Scorpio
dark moon and Nicola is Virgo.  Whitney Houston/Blondie and Woody
Allen. Anyway. We confronted our deepest fears when blindfolded, mine
is to be tortured, Nicola to fall down and symbolically be defaced.
Both Nicola and I felt the need to represent something for our mothers
to help them.  Nicola needed to be the stoic Asian elephant and I
needed to be a princess, a saint and a Christmas present.  After
confronting our fears, I am tortured after being tied to my princess
throne and being forced to listen to the "Duck Sauce - Barbra
Streisand" song, and she falls down the stairs and has a face drawn on
her ass to symbolize defacement, we are able to detourne our roles by
sexualizing them.  Nicola rides the pink elephant and I stab an apple,
wear bows on my shoes and say "Oh God."  After releasing the false
roles we open ourselves up to African spirits, Oya goddess of
thunderstorms and dance for me and Yemaya who is an endlessly coming
woman and ocean of endless bliss for Nicola.  The projected Virgin
Mary transforms into Madonna, and we quote from Mary Magdalene's
gospel -- disdained by the official version of the Bible -- "I knew
you, but you did not know me, because you mistook my garment for my
true self."
Finally I teach moon salutations to the audience to honor mothers and
their teachings, both dark and light sides of the moon.

Comment By Nicola:
My time in Indonesia, has been marked by a lot of digging up of emotions about my family - submissive wives, Asian wives, Asian family responsibility etc. I did not expect it.

After spending time on the shamanic death of capitalism, Simbi and I realised that a whole lot of negative neurosis were still present in our psyches due to our dysfunctional families (who were also in ways products of the manipulations of capitalism). So, we started with our mothers. We were intrigued about the 'good' archetype of the mother, when there is an obvious bad 'Lilith' side. However this Lilith side offers us strengths as well. Due to us witnessing our mother's very shameful positions, we both have very little shame. Our mothers were both victims and drew us in with sympathy so first we sing "Let it Be." My mother, a victim of her own family's superstitions, subconsciously placed a lot of guilt on me especially after leaving all her family she left my abusive father, as I had to become the father of the family from a young age - she made me into a stoic elephant, to symbolise this I make an elephant out of masking tape on the window and try to fit my figure in it. Simbi was a saint, a family gift, a princess and a pesky cat for her mother, she sings 'When the Saints Come Marching In," I sing James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" as I make her up as the Princess and then Simbi turns into a cat and sings "Wish You Were Here" as I get angry with a pink stuffed cat.

We turn these expectations around by facing our biggest fears when blindfolded - confronting our fears of the dark moon. 'Simbi's fear is to be tortured, so I torture her as the Princess and sing the awfully annoying "Duck Sauce (Barbra Streisand)" song. Then, I face my blindfolded fear of falling down stairs, I myself don't want to be subjugated in the basement. So anyway, I blindfold myself and climb down the stairs to the ground level of the Gallery, while Simbi plays Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move" - here begins our point of transformation. I fall down the last few stairs, Simbi then 'tortures' me by painting a face on my ass. We are having fun now. I then ride a toy pink elephant and get paint all over it from my ass. We transform then into orisha's (from Yoruba/Africa) with rituals for Oya, Undergoddess of the Niger River and Yemaya, the mother goddess. After we are transformed we do moon salutations with a plucky participant from the crowd.