Solo Arts Practice > Purge

'Purge' is a fifteen minute live performance in which I perform a vocal lament whilst dragging my body through flour, chilli powder, and curry powder.

'Purge' is a window into a private form of personal catharsis. The table reveals but also conceals. There is a level of anticipatory precariousness in the way my body functions under the table and an awkwardness that comes with the performative re-enactment of ‘airing dirty laundry,’ a vocal release of repressed traumatic impact. 'Purge' occurs in a semi-private space, underneath the dining table, prompting viewers to crouch down or sit on the floor in order to get an unobstructed view of the performance. Eliciting a more sinister association with childhood, the manner in which people have to lower themselves to the floor to find me is reminiscent of the game ‘hide and seek.’ However, what viewers encounter whilst peering under the kitchen table is my strange ritual lament. The act of performing under the table also alludes to unrecorded compensations of labour, often referred to as being ‘paid under the table.’ Both of these allusions speak to a state of liminality that transmits the feeling that something is not quite right. It is apparent that despite my cathartic lamenting vocalisations, concealment is still necessary. Where suppression happens performances such as 'Bite Your Tongue' and 'Cartography' by restraining the production of my physical voice, suppression in 'Purge' materialises through the placement of my body in space. Through the position of my body, the table serves as a dividing line between public and private experiences of trauma. The top of the table can be viewed in relation to how I experience the impacts of trauma in public, through subdued navigations between a desire to speak and not finding the right words. Conversely, the bottom of the table can be viewed as the way I experience the impacts of trauma in private, through heightened forms of sadness, anger, and anxiety in the privacy of designated domestic and medical spaces.