Voodoo Child (Eternal Returds)
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Curated by Mike Watson, Kulttuuritalo Valve, Oulu, Finland.
23 August 2019

The performance will involve two performers wearing long robes, sounds played by an electronic musician, who will make an edit of the shouts and cries of various musicians at festivals such as woodstock, isolated from the sound of the crowd.

The two performers will lie in a puddle of mud, part of their bodies just visible, their epileptic movements responding to the DJ’s whoops. Gradually they will produce sticks, which they will insert into their robes to create a kind of dwelling, reminiscent of the temporary dwellings found at festivals, or as makeshift housing for homeless people.

In the background there will be a video played by live VJ depicting the empty Woodstock stage, where Jimmy Hendrix’s band’s instruments are set up, ready and waiting, yet the musicians never appear.

The performance focuses on hope and subsequent sense of failure that accompanies the festival, the rave, the carnival. This sense of hope passes with each grand event and again in a bigger sense with the growing elderly of each generation. The temporary dwelling made by the performers signals a resistance in the face of the inevitability of each generational hope passing. We can see a similar process of hope fading and its renewal in the passing of the dream of the internet as a medium that would foster worldwide democracy, and in its appropriation as a space of self promotion, obscure creativity and criminal organisation.

© Robert Pettena 2022