Danjel Andersson on DEAD

Pussy Control

Wow. God damn. Shit. Wow again. Shut up already. Damn. I know this is not the conventional opening of a review but this is not your average spectacle. I am also not in a position to praise it, since I am the director of the house that produces it. I am also since 2011 a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast. So I am both a supporter and a fan. But Hallelujah, anyways.

”DEAD” is a piece by Beauty and the Beast, which is sort of a band name for Halla Ólafsdóttir and Amanda Apetrea. They are close collaborators in numerous constellations but Beauty and the Beast is something rare. It is so ”in yer face” that you might think they invented the term. The spectators are led into a silk curtain draped space with candles. As we enter the chamber the two performers with Kiss lookalike make-up stand in the entrance, with a hint to Marina Abramovic and Ulays ”Imponderabilia”, where they stand naked in the entrance to the gallery so close that the visitors need to squeeze themselves in. Two major differences, though. Beauty and the Beast are not nude, yet. And Beauty and the Beast have no dicks. The key-word here is pussy. Or punani. Or fur-ball. And so on.

In the space we enter a ritual celebrating life trough the afterlife. The metaphor of leaving this world and entering a new space. A cave made for alternative conventions. In here an allegoric language is the new Rock n Roll. A space we’re there are no rules. A place to be nude. We hear the two performers read with their deepest and most monstrous sounds goory haiku verses praising, worshiping the female genitals.

They strike curious poses. Naked with a hint of BDSM riding each other, pouring out red wine over the body into the others mouth. Shaking and head-banging.

The spectators are asked to take their shoes off and not to take pictures. The images are instead burned into our membranes.

In ”DEAD” there are so many references to other works, I see Carolee Schneemann ”Interior Scroll” were the artist pulled roll of text out of her vagina. I also see “More than naked” hinted, the piece by Doris Uhlich were flesh and fat are tools to make movement, and Mette Ingvartsens work, mostly perhaps ”50/50” were her ass becomes and instrument, a drum kit, instead of an erotic fantasy. I adore these meta layers. But also ”DEAD” lives its own life, it uses the platform of pussy control from witchcraft to Beyoncé . All these genius works. The female strength.

As I said, I’m already a fan, and that means I also have expectations. This exceeds all of them. ”DEAD by Beauty and the Beast” is, as far as I am concerned, already a classic.

Danjel Andersson