Our practice encompasses a wide variety of media and techniques, including costume, sculpture, video, installation, music and performance. We synthesize multiple performative disciplines, including dance, opera, DIY punk, comedy, and professional wrestling. We construct massive installations that are an interactive experience for the audience. Our performances use humor and play to disarm the audience and draw them in. Through costume-based performance and video, we build alternate universes that are populated by monsters, spawning a counter mythology and queering of existing norms.
Our work is not human-centered. Instead, it privileges the monster, challenging what is/not human. On the surface, the monsters are inviting: bright colors, fuzzy textures and shiny exteriors evoke sentimentality. Through humor, our work is disarming and seductive. The playfulness of our monsters and lightness of the materials contrasts the brutal gore of the performances.
We use excess as strategy--bringing the audience into a space between spectator and spectacle. The vivid monsters and corresponding sets make a hyperreal setting. The aggressive colors contribute to an attractive and compelling aesthetic that speaks to the pleasures of excess. Within the performances are layers of overlapping actions, creating pandemonium with no clear focal point. The immersive combination of the saturated installation and costumes, the disjunction between the music and image, and the chaotic performance fosters an overwhelming weirdness. Playing with the horror vacui (terror of the void) the work generates “an atmosphere of beautiful oppression.”1 The work’s totality pushes and pulls between liberation and oppression, keeping the audience in suspension.
Horror mythology is a collection of society’s fears, and monsters are the embodiment of subconscious terror, standing in for the evils of capitalism. The monster historically exists outside of systems while simultaneously representing the oppression of those same systems. Inverting the traditional role of the monster, we flip expectations of iconic horror films and bring the invisible repressed into the foreground. Employing the spectacle, we use over-the-top violence to “remind us that capitalism is already violent, that under capitalism violence is ambient and systematic.”2 Our work manifests that ambient violence of capitalism to expand understanding of oppressive sociopolitical norms--giving the abstract concepts of capitalism form that can be physically engaged with. Our performances create a communal event, countering the alienation of capitalism. The representation of violence provokes an embodied response in the viewer, prompting a shared experience of becoming monster themselves.
1. Leeder, Murray. Horror Film: a Critical Introduction. Bloomsbury Academic, an Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, 2018.
2. Steven, Mark. Splatter Capital: a Guide for Surviving the Horror Movie We Collectively Inhabit. Repeater, 2017. Print.