hell day 3 – reanimating the dead

I’d had this idea the reanimating of corpses would be good, but it’s become the best thing I’ve done all year … or something. It’s certainly getting weirder and becoming more creepy and funnier, which is mostly because Cornelia is a depraved pervert of a puppet master. So after playing with the scene for a bit, we moved on to new new new things.

Since extermination last year, I’ve been doing this thing of building bodies together into grotesque baroque tableaux pulled from etchings by Goya and Botticelli, and it’s still interesting for me, but while I could repeat it again and still find something new in it, the other side was how to reverse the etching, which I see as the equivalent of both photograph and film back onto living bodies. In particular, because there is the whole Dante’s Inferno thread in this work, I’ve been using Botticelli’s etching which accompanied the imprint.

One thing which immediately struck me in all his etchings in which there is a great host of bodies in torment was how this resembled not a crowd, but a single individual in torment and captured by the etching equivalent of a multiple exposure shot. One body eviscerated as it scrambles ever deeper into the circles of hell.

We spent most of the rehearsal mapping the individual bodies from one etching onto our own, which was suitably demonic in itself and then animating in-between until we had a chain of bodies repeatedly crashing to the floor and spasming in terror trying to haul off the serpents which crush their bodies in the image. Fun, bruising, and violent, which is how the work is shaping up. Tonight is more of the same plus car and plane crashes, and we’re saving the black mass for Friday.