FALLEN FRUIT / DAVID BURNS, MATIAS VIEGENER & AUSTIN YOUNG
Fallen Fruit engages with the object or symbol of fruit in all our work; we use it as a lens to see the world. “Fruit Meditation” plays with the conventions of new age meditations or visualizations; we use these forms to generate new rituals of embodied social consciousness, with fruit as the link between outside and inside, self and other, and the political and the personal.
The grounding power of the banana is the focus of the opening act. Each participant is stretched out on the floor and asked to relax, to become a sort of empty vessel; when they are relaxed they are each given a banana and asked to peel and eat it, mindful of its origin and meaning. The gesture of self-liberation continues in the second part, in which the group, standing in a circle, is asked to focus on a large watermelon. We imagine it as a repository for unwanted things, parts of ourselves we wish to lose or change or modify. Each participant in turn deposits his unwanted ejecta/abjection by whispering into a hole carved in the top of the melon. When they are done, the hole is covered and we leave; the melon remains alone on a pedestal.
We move on to the orange: the sun, that which we desire, that which sustains and nurtures us; to see the sun in everything we touch, and ultimately in ourselves. The final act culminates in the apple, the symbol of knowledge and sin, and the knowledge of good and evil. We move into this dark apple, into guilt, the fall from grace, and slowly visualize a pure apple emptied of symbolic content. Then we take the focus off the fruit and into the body, the pathway from inside to outside. Finally we bring the fruit back into the social body. While blindfolded, we ask the participants to feed each other. This is always the most intense part. Blind strangers feeding each other. Blind trust through hands, fingers, lips and teeth. After a moment of silence, the partners rise and unveil each other. The group moves to the plinth and one participant is given a mallet to smash the melon. The red guts of the watermelon fly into the space and sometimes onto the participants’ clothes. When it is completely smashed, we are done.