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Possum

Gary Stevens

Photo by Gary Stevens
2003 – 2020

An opossum is a small marsupial that plays dead to avoid danger. The performance in the art gallery played with the conflict between sculptural and dramatic imperatives. It was half way between an installation and an event.

Tension was created by the shock of sudden animation or a repeated phrase that punctuated long silences. It was a series of minimal, potentially explosive tableaux vivants. Half-gestures and expressions were arrested as if the performers were struck with fear or doubt, or a degree of self-consciousness that petrified them. They could’ve co-existed as long as no one made a sudden movement or addressed anyone directly. Eye contact could be enough to have caused a violent collapse.

Performed by Pedro Almeida, Carla Cabanas, Diana Conde, Marilia Maria Mira, Teresa Prima, Rita Raposo, Fernando Ribeiro, Pietro Romani, Isobel Salgado, Ligia Soares

CAPITALS, Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro de Arte Moderna, Portugal 2002; Sala de Exposicoes Temporarias do Camjap, Lisbon, September, 2003

Photo by Gary Stevens
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