Our Palace of Intestines 2017
Part of Queering Ritual, York St John University 4 November.
10 minutes. Pie with lard, flour, potatoes, pork sausage, linen cloth, knife, linen dress, charoal, egg timer.
Photography by Nathan Walker.
Through the enactment, appropriation and subversion of the ancient ritual of extispicy, divination using the entrails, ‘Our Palaces of Intestines’ explores the theme of Queering Ritual by enacting ideas of interconnectedness, and otherness, a ‘transactional mingling of organism and environment’ (Shannon Sullivan, 2015).
At the centre is a large raised pie, a kind of sacrificial body. The audience is engaged in communal breathing exercise. Hands are held on their belly which follow its inflation and deflation as the breath is channeled into the torso. There is an extispicy through the cutting of an ‘opening into the invisible world’ of the pie (Jeremy Naydler, 2009), to reveal a labyrinthine sausage, the ‘palace of the intestines’, which is examined/read, through the counting of its convolutions, tracing and drawing the revealed form, and a procession through the audience of the sausage against the body. Finally there is an inspection of the ruins.