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Portal/Tomb | Minor Literature[s]


The essay is an excerpt of The Bones Of It, the third section of a tryptic titled Uninhabited: Reflecting an Empty Stage.


Conceived in a time when theatres were closed, Uninhabited: Reflecting an Empty Stage is a personal response to a crisis of art-form. Part poetry, photo essay, prose and performance text, it begins as exploration of absence and culminates in a performance for an uninhabited theatre.


Part I, [un]inhabited initials [after Holbein], begins a conversation with Hans Holbein the Younger’s 1524 Alphabet with Dance of Death, and uses satellite images of Irish ghost estates to create an alphabet of absence. In it, the absent body and voice are explored through the skeletal remains of buildings and their relationship to the surrounding landscape.


Part II, A History of Multiplying, is a prose-poem about process. It reflects on the writer’s earliest experiences with multiplication and on the societal effects the bubonic plague, drawing together misremembered histories with narratives of division and multiplication to create multiplicity of connections.


Part III, The Bones Of It, is a culmination and a return. Through Holbein’s Alphabet with Dance of Death, the piece explores of isolation, story and connection as a process of making and remaking, of peeling away and collaging viewpoints, experiences and times. It brings the body to the fore and culminates in a performance text for an absent audience.


You can read Portal/Tomb here.




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