Necrotising Fasciitis

Necrotising Fasciitis

Walking into the performance space I immediately felt like more than a spectator; the darkness, the soundscape and the organised chaos of the space drew the audience in before we could fully appreciate that we were immersing ourselves in the installation that is Flesh.

Walking around was unsettling, as the music distorted the space like fingernails over a chalkboard being cut with the comical sounds of groovy game-show music. Overall a nauseating effect. Without any clear direction the audience was left to their own devices , allowing them to view the sometimes beautiful/comical/disturbing/politically-charged instillations at their leisure, more like an art gallery than a performance.

The programme had a helpful essay (citations and all) to help us make sense of the work, which I personally found slightly patronising as I had my own ideas about their vegetarian agendas long before I read it. The work itself was tangible; the textures of frozen fruit combined with action figures and photograph sculptures of fruit and rubbish were both interesting and fun. The videos caused a mix of sensory reactions – somewhere between a vomit and a laugh is the best way to describe it and next to the live musicians it provided an interesting juxtaposition between the flesh and the televised, reminding us that we are in fact consumers.

Looming over all of this was possibly the highlight, the girl kneeling in a tray full of ice with a saddle on her back. With what can only be described as painful endurance on behalf of the creator of Flesh, Hana Aoake, the image of meat slabs being objectified in the supermarket next to women in the 60’s, was clear. Straddling the fine line between repulsion and attraction Flesh was challenging and a refreshing change from the standard theatre fare.

Luke Agnew
This article first appeared in Issue 5, 2012.
Posted 4:26pm Sunday 25th March 2012 by Luke Agnew.