Presented by The VORTEX Repertory
Obituary is a poetic ritual in grief. In an exploration of our collective mourning, this performance offers new ways of hailing, remembering, and reinterpreting death. Done through a conjuring practice, Eva Margarita makes activated charcoal as a means for creating an ink that acknowledges the personal and social stains that are impossible to remove from the body. As a mode of critical accompaniment, audience members had a chance to listen to, sit with, and participate in renewed modes of mourning by answering the question, “what are you grieving?” Obituary sifts through language as a site for change, that is, a postcolonial history of loss that when unearthed, refuses to be forgotten.
Over the course of 3 days an activated charcoal was made. The use of activated charcoal here aims to recognize the
body as porous.
It is the porosity of the charcoal that not only makes reference to but activates alterity. This possibility for transformation and intra-action occurs in all the openings made available for mourning, resistance,
and plurality. In this sense, the activated charcoal itself is making use of embodiment. It sustains itself over time and space through its transformation;
an alchemical process
that makes use of all the ins and outs available for
intra-actions with grief.
In a call towards accompaniment and our intra-actions, the audience is asked,
What are you grieving?
The terms of our grief are then emobodied through spoken word, spiritual offering, and in text as they are written on the artist's body using an ink made out of activated charcoal. An engagement with the burial ground pushes the viewer to consider how we may consider our mourning as carrying both the promise of loss and renewal.
As an act of healing, Obituary, asks us to accompany our grief; to consider how we might revive and re-invent our mourning by sustaining it.