US, AN INVESTIGATION OF CONSUBSTANTIATION
CYNTHIA POST HUNT
When I was a girl, my grandmother would take my brother and me to the library. After story hour, we would traditionally walk to the nearby diner. At the end of our meal, my grandmother would take her box of daily vitamins from her pocketbook and my brother and I would take turns feeding them to her. I can remember how my fingers felt on her lips and how she would click the vitamin in her teeth and giggle before swallowing. This became a peculiar game to us. With each vitamin I anticipated my next turn. From these memories, I created the piece, “Us, an investigation of consubstantiation.”
The performance begins with a transparent table and chairs positioned under a spotlight. Alone, I sit at the table, clothed in white, with a transparent box in front of me. The box is filled with translucent, moist spheres, smelling of extreme sweetness. I stare straight ahead. A participant sits down in the chair across from me. Our knees touch and our eyes lock in silence. Slowly, I open the box, pick up one of the spheres, and put it to my lips. I open my mouth and place it on my tongue. As I chew, our eyes remain locked. I swallow, I close the box, and I rotate it 180 degrees. I open the box facing the person in front of me. They pick up one of the spheres, and eat it. Each participant reacts differently to this silent invitation and to the taste and texture of the sphere. I close the box, and rotate it 45 degrees. I pick up a sphere and bring it close to the participant’s lips. They accept the offer and open their mouth to consume the sphere from my fingertips. The box stays open and I wait with my mouth open as a gesture for the participant to feed me. The sounds of the gallery surround us, but do not break our connection. The box remains open and the participant and I continue to take turns. The duration of the game varies from participant to participant. Sometimes I lose myself in the actions and reactions. I am intoxicated by the motions and the sweetness of the spheres. Sometimes the participant intimidates me. They are strong, beautiful, indecipherable, or overtly sexual. Sometimes the participant is confident and challenges me. It feels like they want to win.