Canvas, wax, wood, steel. 
Duncan of Jordanstone Degree Show 2015. 

It appealed of course to a primordial desire that children have to pull apart their playthings, to reach their depths, to get to their inner workings.
— David Hopkins, The Soul of the Toy, Childish Things


In Antonin Artaud’s theatre of cruelty, the body becomes an object for observation. It becomes corrupted, suffers, and loses its identity under the gaze of the audience. As within slaughterhouses and soft play, the body subject becomes object through observation, and in Lavinia - through the violent act of dismemberment.   

The structure, derived from a climbing frame, becomes the stage in which the bodies ‘perform’. There is tension between its child-like familiarity, and the ambiguity of the silent bodies within it. In Lavinia, the silence of the suffering is deafening, and cruelty becomes a circus.

The stage is set, and in it violence has a silent voice. In a state of purgatory, has an act been committed, or is it yet to happen? The bodies become protagonists, actors, victims, within the theatre, subject to an absent antagonist. Adding to this relationship, the audience observes these bodies in their dormancy and vulnerability from the outside. Once entering the space, the audience moves from the role of observer and, in a moment, becomes observed.  

We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads.
— Antonin Artaud