BREAK THE RITUAL: BURIAL
Created and Performed by: Kristen Kelso & Eva Margarita
Commissioned and Produced by The Misfits Theatre Company, NYC
Part I: Obituary
Part II: Eulogy
Part III: Burial
Everyone is burying something.
Break the Ritual: Burial unsettles Western funerary practices by reimagining the burial process through an accompaniment with the dead's material remains. In laying things to rest; more often than not, we leave the transference from life to death in the hands of a hired other. These practices of settling the body archive leave us craving intimacy with the flesh and it’s left over fragments. This project unbounds the funerary practice by re-inventing it. Using the Colorado river as a final gravesite, this work endeavors to unearth the in-between places situated at the crossroads of what was and what remains in order to investigate the dark corners of our collective memory, and discover where we might begin to place ourselves among the ghosts.
Obituary is the first installment of Burial. In a soundscape of grief, presented as a dial-in phone call, audience members have a chance to listen to and sit with disorderly modes of mourning. Sifting through the sounds made in grief, we can unveil the layers of loss that, when unearthed, refuse to be forgotten. This sonic excavation provides the opportunity to (re)discover how grief flows through everyday actions. Recognizing the “beginning” and the “end” are not necessarily set, we ask, what happens when you hear the sounds of non-linear grief, of a non-linear life?
What can be produced from this chaos?
Eulogy asks, how do you mourn?
What might we unearth as we reimagine the ways we till through physical and metaphorical soils?
Here, the artists recognize that processing a body’s archive moves beyond tangible subjects. Using the written word, artists invited communities to speculate the affective states we enter as we engage with the traces the dead leave behind. Responses and embodiments were shared via Instagram @breaktheburial
To work with the dead’s material fragments is to commit to its various forms of becoming.
The final Burial recognizes our bodies and its remains as porous; transgressing the boundaries between our flesh and the flesh of the world. Pushing against the “taken-for-grantedness of the emotionally contained subject,” Burial ultimately brings the viewer to consider how we attend to the vital entanglements which bring us to accompany our mourning in such way that it is critically renewed.