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La Petite Mort d’Été

Thursday, August 27, 2009 8-10 pm


TM Davy
Paul Monaghan
Peter Zuspan


A collaborative performance and multimedia installation by TM Davy, Peter Zuspan, and Paul Monaghan, Little Death of Summer develops various metaphors of the body and human presence through sound, image, and movement to describe the experience and swan song of summer. The summer is seen as a lusty period of searching and experimenting, and deserves, in the artists’ eyes, to be echoed, reflected, and assessed with hopes of discovering moments of transcendence and personal truth.

The climactically sweaty end of August is employed and celebrated within the gallery, as choreographer Paul Monaghan deals for the full two hours with a repeated, though shifting, motif of liquid poured on the body. These gestures of bathing are struck through subtle shifts of dance, exploring a liminal space between the casual, the erotic, the intimate, and the sacramental.

In Sacrament Island, a video installation created from footage of a personal film made by TM Davy, the artist and his partner/lover engage in various sex acts within a single spot of woods on the tiny Sacrament Island, laying bare that pinnacle fulfillment of Summer’s romantic beauty, pushed towards obfuscated emotional recall by overlays of dreamy repeat.

The sounds of Little Death of Summer also build on a structure of repetition and overlay, music which is performed live, live-recorded, and looped to construct an additive and improvised composition. Peter Zuspan, an architect and sound artist programmed the electronic instruments that allow him and TM Davy to pattern simple organic sounds (banging cups, pouring water, singing, pounding the floor) into thunderous echoes or chaotic refrains.