ANALOGUE TO A BLUNT TRAUMA
JAMIE LEWIS HADLEY
In “analogue to a blunt trauma,” I attempt to utilize some, but reject many, of the tropes found in traditional theater. Instead, the performance explores the interplay between strategies that exist within live art, cinema and medicine. In doing so, the performance attempts to blur the line between artifice and reality. Here, the gun is real, the blood is real and the doctor is real.
The work was developed around multiple ideas: a frustration at not being able to donate blood, the liveness of a firearm, the use of medical equipment in live performance and thoughts on how I could create a number of striking and engaging images using one bag of blood. I have recently developed a belief that, by using medical professionals and equipment to extract blood, I might be able to attract and engage an audience, rather than potentially disgust or repel.
The performance is situated within a large warehouse with six vertical pillars and an old green chesterfield sofa. The space is lit with eight vertical fluorescent lights that illuminate different areas of the room at different times. This minimal set and lighting state creates an incredibly sterile and striking environment.
The performance is based around a strict score and can be broken into five sections. During section one, I enter the space and remove a dustsheet that rests over the sofa. Dr. Belinda Fenty then enters and extracts one packet of blood from my arm. Section two shows Dr. Fenty suspending the bag in the middle of the room. Section three begins with the entrance of a stunt coordinator, who hands me a gun. From a distance of four meters, I take aim and shoot the bag seven times. At this time, the bag is filmed with a hidden camera that shoots in very slow motion. During section four, I proceed to smash seven of the eight fluorescent lights in the room. The final section involves the dustsheet that originally covered the sofa being pulled through the blood on the floor and suspended in the middle of the room, creating a projection screen. As I watch from behind the screen, a video of the blood bag being shot is then shown on the screen in extremely slow motion. The film ends, I smash the last light and leave.