Wild Art Group’s new performance project
Created by Allison M Keating
Original Score by Paul Matthis
In the space of a one-night-only performance, which by design is as energetically potent as it is fleeting, lies artist Allison M Keating’s reflection on “why stay alive?”—an existential question posed after a friend’s suicide and Trump’s detrimental renouncement of the Paris Climate Agreement. As ephemeral as life itself, On Death invites us to celebrate in raw reverie what gives us reason to live. Appealing to the viscera of its audience with collaged visual metaphors of life-high mimicry and imaginative facsimiles of death (giant flies, song, hooded tap dancers, a TrumpFly, a choir), this cathartic release is bounded by the self-imposed limitation of the performance’s ultimate purpose—the creation of a papertape, the pre-1912 method of printing film stills onto paper that proved to be the most durable method of capturing live performance. With technical and directorial decisions committed to the production of this papertape--material testimony meant to outlast the humans in the room--the performance struggles with the tension between our id-driven quest for momentary pleasure and our ego-driven ambitions to leave a legacy beyond our corporal existence. Keating posits that both living in the moment and living for the future stem from the unitarily absurd motivation to cheat death as she asks us to consider this most influential of fears while reminding us that we always have hope.