Plan for Monologues II: patriarchal traditions and the New Age, 2018
Monologues II revolves around the history of alternative feminine religious practice, and in particular the practice of bodily healing and its fraught relationship to the C19th ‘Gentleman Doctor’. I was excited to find a connection to that history in the Western front where I staged my project. The Western Front was originally built to house the activities of C19th fraternal order, The Knights of Pythias. While there I discovered that the Knights functioned among other things, as a prototypical health insurance provider. Application for membership was mediated by a doctor’s exam with full membership being predicated on the absence of a ‘pre-existing condition’. It was presumably only these full members, (men only of course), who had access to the occult rituals performed in what is now the Western Front’s performance space. In my version of the room’s elevation plan (pictured here), I added 3 extra chairs, so that the full contingent of Artists, Mystics and Suffragettes A–Z can be symbolically seated.