ULAPAARC (Cara Tolmie and Paul Abbott), Eagress, 2018. Camden Arts Centre. Commissioned by PS/Y for Hysteria. Photo by Manuela Barczewski
Camden Arts Centre
7 March 2018
PS/Y’s Hysteria programme and Camden Arts Centre present Eagress, a new performance by ULAPAARC, the collaborative work of Paul Abbott and Cara Tolmie.
Through drums, voice, movement and text, Abbott and Tolmie will investigate the psychoanalytic concept of ‘hysteria’ as a complex, historical set of negotiations between bodies and their description.
Drawing from questions surrounding language, performance and the body as page, their work will explore the conflict of articulation that arises between authorial institutions – such as The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (1952) – and the enigmatic language of ‘somatic symptoms’ spoken through the skin of the so-called hysteric body.
Eagress aims to generate learning through site-specific experimentation and derail authoritative, normalising vocabularies in favour of a more complex set of agrammatic and non-verbal languages, referencing Naomi Segal’s observation: ‘If the hysteric’s body does the speaking, it is on her surface—gestures, voice, the skin—that the act of speaking takes place.’
Naomi Segal, ‘Witnessing through the skin: the hysteric’s body as text’, in Journal of Romance Studies, vol 9 no. 3, Winter 2009: 73–85.
PS/Y’s Hysteria is a combined arts programme that explores health and illness in contemporary society, focusing on issues of gender, race and cultural identity. Hysteria is curated by Mette Kjærgaard Præst and takes place in partnership with organisations and institutions across London from August 2017 – April 2018.