After Performance Press Release – Act 2
"In Search Of Home"
Act 2 is the second in a series of public performances of "The Return Of Persephone."
In this piece, Persephone takes the audience on a journey that lasts almost 2 hours. The whole piece is a walking performance starting from Admiralty Arch taking the left side of The Mall, passing through the palace and heading to Green Park as the last destination. Persephone unfolds her inner-self journey between a personal and political space within history.
The European refugee crisis acts as the main theme in this second act.
‘Man is something that shall be overcome. Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman – rope over an abyss.’ Nietzsche,
A narrator takes the audience to the underworld with a female choir in the background. The story talks about homes and the struggles of finding a new home. The sound, the movement and the costumes are purposefully created to interrupt daily life and provide a liminal space within a very busy, historical area. The Queen of the Underworld meets the Queen and Matriarch of the United Kingdom.
As in the tradition of procession down The Mall, Persephone walks with the beast. As she walks, she develops a paradoxical relationship with him. The beast continuously transforms into Hades then back into the beast, while Persephone transforms into an animal and back into herself in direct juxtaposition to her companion.
‘Poetry has its roots in human breath – and what would be if our breath were diminished?’ Seferis’ Speech for Nobel Prize
Persephone and the beast arrive in front of the Palace, a symbolic house of power, where they transform themselves into humans. Alongside two other performers, they lie down in foetal position, covering themselves with white bed-sheets to look like four lying statues on the floor. They can be heard breathing rhythmically and amplified to represent the tenacity of life in the face of suppression.
Moving on to the next set in Green Park, this set is inspired by the Pasolini film Arabian Nights (picture).
Persephone marries her now transformed beast. As ritualistic as an arranged marriage, this wedding encapsulates the limits of choices left to humankind in our overdeveloped, technologically advanced, globalised society that is constantly striving to facilitate but inevitably further imprisons our lives.
Persephone marries her betrothed and gives birth to a monster, she feeds her monster with her underwordly milk.
The Return of Persephone involves elements of poetical authority in a public space, metamorphosis and the journey between life and death. It explores the value of abnormality, the political power of creating a myth and the creation of a liminal, artistic space; an interruption to daily life.