One day I’m gonna make the onion cry #9

Bela Vista, Brazil 2020
Bodily Response
Invited by Desiree Nault, M:ST Performative Arts Festival, Calgary, Canada
Duration: 24 minutes
Photographs by Monika Deimling


The performance is the last part of the work cycle “One day I’m gonna make the onion cry” and was performed in a remote location in Bela Vista, Brazil. During the time of the first worldwide lockdown, Monika Deimling and I were stuck there for some time during our artistic research trip. This was also the time and place where we shot the site-specific visual art film “A COW WON’T EAT FOXES WHEN THE GRASS IS DRY”. Due to the lockdown and the sudden cancellation of art events, the Canadian organisation M:ST performative arts in Calgary developed the project “Bodily Response”. It was a live stream series created in response to the impact that artists around the world have experienced due to pandemic-related movement restrictions, physical distancing and project cancellations. As there was no constant internet connection available at my location, the performance was pre-recorded and then presented as part of “Bodily Response”.

Description of actions:
A collage of performance images and sounds is created by executing the following actions with selected material.

– Holding a roof tile in front of the face and smashing it with a hammer. [The roof tile is breaking with each stroke into pieces.]
– Sitting on a wooden stool, holding a silver plate in front of the face and gently moving it. [At some points the sun strongly reflects in the silver plate.]
– Shaking a wooden box filled with red hibiscus fruits. [The fruits are falling out of the box.]
– Sitting in a window frame and rubbing the palms of the hands on my eyes. [After a long rub the eyes turn red.]
– Moving the whole body in the window frame.
– Placing an onion on the stool; sitting in the window frame – one foot on the onion – and blowing into a silver pot. [In the pot is a mixture of water and soap, blowing into the pot generates foam that appears with each blow.]
– Holding the white onion with a white cloth and rubbing with the other hand red pimento seeds over my face and chest in a straight line.
– Holding the white cloth with both hands in front of the face; blowing gently on the cloth. [The cloth is gently moving back and forth.]
– Taking ashes in both hands, placing the head into the ashes and breathe strongly. [With each breath ash clouds appear.]
– Taking three blue parrots feathers in front of the face; creating a squeaking sound while moving the feathers.
– Placing the hibiscus fruits and the onion in a birds cage and holding it for a longer while.
– Climbing through the window and presenting a wooden dove of peace.
– Closing the window.

You can see the video that was screened as part of Bodily response here