Man, the Flower of All Flesh
In a review of this performance the New York Times the art critic Holland Cotter wrote: “Hanne Tierney calls it a theater without actors. I would also call it sculpture, installation art, sound art, dance and an act of magic.” - Based on E.M Forster’s story The Machine Stops, written in 1909, this work elaborates on the modern dread of the take-over by machines. The story centers around the woman Vashti and her son, who live in a claustrophobic underground society, run by The Machine, a tyrannical, communal brain. Slowly their fear, that the Machine will stop some day becomes real, and their environment begins to fall apart and eventually destroys itself. In this performance the story then returns to the beginning, a witty take on evolution, whereby the movements of plumbing pipes turn into the gestures of homo sapiens.
The artist Matt Freedman provides the prologue with a performance of his fascinating lightning sketches, a kind of fast-moving story-board technique with origins in 19th century fairground entertainment, that often doubled as an early form of news casting.
Artist: Matt Freedman
Music composed and performed: Jane Wang
Light Design: Trevor Brown
Additional Music: Grant Smith
Video: Stefanie Fischer
Knitter: Jamie Mumford
Manipulator: Shawn Lane
Concept, text, construction: Hanne Tierney
First performed at FiveMyles, Brooklyn, NY, 2005