S U P E R R E L A X E D
What happens when we extend ourselves to others but don’t receive them in return? What is the feeling of the texture coming from our being engaged but not receptive to another person? Often I have felt a looming dissonance in my close relationships, believing it came from an absent two-way connection. I wrote a text to explore this condition of self-containment and its alienating effects upon relationships. This exploration became my form of self-medication and that text became this work’s starting point. I asked Joanna and Sophia to collaborate with me to build an engaging performance for a play with characters alienated from one another.
JOANNA: “Help me help you” is what a bored person said.
ERYK: Being accidentally awesome.
SOPHIA: Fat’s practical. Finding practical use for your fat.
JOANNA: Finding yourself on accident starring in a blockbuster pornographic film.
ERYK: GUYS I AM IN HIGH DEF IS THAT COOL W YOU?
SOPHIA: I like when you act sassy and carry your baroque candelabra.
JOANNA: Next year nature will be a simulation.
SOPHIA: She’s not your ordinary ambitious pickup truck.
ERYK: Remember, you used to be a mischievous baby.
JOANNA: Terrorized children turned terrorizing children.
SOPHIA: The only way I know how to use an iron is violently.
JOANNA: When people you meet describe you as “colossal.”
ERYK: You are a rapper magician.
SOPHIA: “I take a nap on your roof yeah I own this city.” That’s like what birds say.
In “S U P E R R E L A X E D,” the disconnected texts between characters navigate the boundary between self-exposure and self-containment in the context of public interaction, propagating further chaos. The characters don’t journey across a narrative trajectory but rather spin around an illusory space.
We brought this performance into a small church. The audience sat for a few minutes in darkness before Joanna, Sophia and I rose and surrounded them on all sides of the sanctuary. When each of us spoke we lit our faces with flashlights, and at times directly addressed individual spectators, inviting them to reciprocate. The three of us kept our distance from one another, positioning ourselves at three points in the sanctuary around the pews. Throughout the performance we made constant crossings to each others’ positions, encircling the audience and placing them at the center of disconnected relationships.