Blindfold Slip: A Response by Lorraine Pepper
after seeing Blindfold Slip Private, 29 January 2011
Baby-plump smooth skin. Gravitas. Where is the frivolity? Fixity of expression awaiting what? Curve of love-handles fit neatly into the angles of the arms.
Philip bonds himself to Cally with ties of pretty dark cream muslin bows. Blindfolded now, his red shiny pate is smooth. Cally's skirt is loose, crumpled in black. There is the first shudder and sigh at the cold. A sharp inhalation of breath as the head is covered; the slip, a thick off-white, ices and drips onto his nipples. Slap. He bears it but there is, nevertheless, another shudder. Physical suffering.
The cupped-on clay delineates a divide from the right hand shoulder, down. The colours of the mask over the eyes and the slip blend. Where is the light skip of the man now? The body presents stoicism and audacity. Philip emits sighs of cold. His shoulders jerk with the chill as he turns a little towards Cally. There is clay in the mouth and his feet are soaked, the vulnerable arms suspended. Splash onto the penis. Cally is spattered.
With clay treacling the knees, the abdomen snowed in cream, the body is mummified. Gaps of face flesh remain. What is this? A creature without sight? A hostage to art? A tolerating victim. Sound of a thick 'slash' onto the neck yet the figure is soft, pliant, immutable. Where is the end?
Cally is assiduous. Is this to cover or to reveal? Pinks of flesh remain. Philip swallows. Strength has increased. This, perhaps, the intent. The smothering of the stripped humanity of the man is nearly completed. Only sighs are heard. The crisp tension of protest screaming in the confined performance space risks mounting unbearably. To stifle the noise the creamy, heavy, smooth weight of the slip drowns the form of the man, obscures him and absolves him in the run of pools that spread in peaks and holes, lacing the floor beneath his solid presence.
Philip is diminished. Cally, strange, wild, young doll, has hands that are gloved with clay. She contemplates the shiny gloss of a head, pockets of air and the streaks, the rivulets of white chocolate, the edible body.
Now Philip crouches. Sits and seems unsure. Let him not crawl out the room! But he curls, a glossy cream embryo, a child asleep, a faun. It is the bard's dream. There has been a change.