Josée Aubin Ouellette and Erik Osberg
Generator Projects, Residual, Dundee July 2016
Extreme Unction is a two-person performance of a series of short texts that manifest anxieties about contemporary material conditions. Soaping Hands, peeling and pickling eggs, brushing teeth, drinking probiotics, making preserved cabbage, are paired with bodily, environmental, political, and nutritional panic-attacks-cum-lamentations recited alongside these self-help actions that serve as therapies for the individual body. The work is staged around a purpose-built table that holds a set of bowls containing the materials used in the actions. Extreme Unction performs the tension between communal problems and the individual body, the feeling of being allergic to the world and of powerlessness in the face of it.
We work with materials that connect to the body through consumption and bodily fluids, with technologies that mediate the body, and with the politics surrounding our contemporary relationship to food. The remnants of our actions serve as an embodiment of the performance, passing on the ideas contained within it, and as a testament to their futility beyond the self.