There he comes. With two jars. One empty. One filled with black hair. He puts them on the two ends of a long, white, used cloth. There is hair on the cloth. It has been there for one year. This is the closure of a one year performance. Above the jars are candles. One candle on each jar. He lights them. There is music. Johann Strauss. One song. This one song. An der schönen blauen Donau. Played throughout the entire performance. In my mind Clockwork Orange is not far. Beautiful torture. Beauty and pain. In the middle and in front of the cloth a glass bowl filled with water, a kit of scissors and shavers, a wine carafe filled with red wine. Five disposable razors on the cloth waiting to be used.
He takes of his shoes and his clothes. He gives them to male audience members and asks them to take care of them for a moment. Naked he steps back to the white cloth. He takes the wine carafe. He also takes a small white towel and shaving foam. He decides to go to the most left razor on the cloth. Drinks wine. Spits wine on the razor. Then he starts to put shaving foam on his legs and shaves them. He does not use water to do so. He would cut his skin and blood would drip onto the cloth next to the wine mark. It is only half a wet shave. But this is how he shaves. After having finished his legs he would continue with his genital area on the very right side of the cloth. First cutting the hair, then shaving its rest. It takes a long time. Again the wine spilling. Again no water. Again blood. He plays with his facial expression between being hacked off, boredom and slight smiles to the audience. Then the shaving procedure reaches his belly and armpits. Same procedure. This time no blood. He starts talking to the audience. About his name. His birthday. His childhood. His speech defect. He is about to reach his face. All hair on his face is died pink and blond, except his eyebrows. He takes an electric razor to shave his beard. He asks the audience how to shave his beard. Which part first. Then his eyebrows. With a disposable razor. Blood replaces his eyebrows. Finally his head. In the middle of the cloth. We were watching him for over an hour already. Same procedure. First cutting. Then wine drinking and spilling. Then shaving. Without water. Through the time passing, him drinking wine and Strauss’ never-ending beautiful blue danube it becomes difficult for him to perfectly shave. People start to tell him which parts are not shaved yet. He won’t reach the moment of shaving his head completely. Only almost perfectly shaved, he decides to end. He puts the cut hair into the empty jar. He approaches the people who took care of his clothes. He starts a small talk with them while getting dressed. The performance is finished. Relief.
The most striking fact in this performance had been Capulongs body. His moves. His movements. His exposure. His postures. Connected to this questions arise like: How will he proceed? How will he embody and inhabit this very ritual of his? How would he move with this very own body of his? How gentle will he be with himself? What are his gestures? What are his ways and possibilities of shaving and therefore moving? Where is limitation? Where is the liminal?
He moved. Ritualistically along the cloth. He moved. Very habitually in his act of shaving. He knows his body. It is natural: One knows how to touch, how to turn, how to pull skin, how to deform body parts, how to stand up, how to sit down, how to lower your head, how to open your legs, how to reach every inch of your body. Repeatedly. This very natural behavior created a great comfort. He earned my subjective agreement with all of his gestures, my agreement with the natural presence of intimacy. He drew a thin line between art and life. Just as Theching Hsieh by whom he was inspired. He drew a different line though. He would not only show the results to an audience in the form of an exhibition, but let the audience take part in the moment of resulting by performing, by telling stories, by taking requests and helping notes from the audience, by getting un/dressed among the audience. And he entered and exited this moment through being with the audience in space. Considerably this has been comfortable for him: To be with an audience instead of taking distance. To share instead of separating. Live and present.
A lovely entry by Lisa Stertz (SAIC Performance MFA ‘15) on my latest show, Full Body Tonsure: Closing Ceremony for a One-Year Performance at Defibrillator Gallery.
Thank you to everyone who attended! I had so much fun with the audience! Wonderful vibes.