For this performance I fulfilled a lifelong dream to pop out of a cake. It was the opening of Elevator Gallery’s first exhibition Magical Thinking. The cake was displayed all night and I snuck into it just before my performance was announced. After making my dramatic entrance, I talked about desire and projection; then the music began and my troupe and I, clad in silk nighties, sang and danced our rendition of ‘All I Do Is Dream of You‘ from Singing in the Rain.
My monologue went as follows:
Here I am! I can tell you’re looking at me admiringly. Now that I’ve popped out of this cake and into your life, do you love me? Like a cake, have you risen to the baking powder of my allure? Do I rouse your cream filling? I could fall in love with your image of me. The surfaces of your eyes are like tiny mirrors that reflect back my likeness and I like what I see. When you connect the dots in the love map of your mind do its contours match mine? Or am I just a surface onto which you can project your fantasies? What does that say about my surface qualities? If I were completely different would you still see love when you look at me? You think you know me, but you don’t.
On the other hand, when I fall in love I can’t stop thinking about the person and I forget myself. Sometimes I think that maybe I fall in love just to be able to forget myself. No matter where I am I can’t stop picturing you. My imagination blows you up like a balloon and puts the sweetest words into your mouth and the most loving glance into your eyes. When I complete and perfect you in my mind, I turn all your faults into gifts. And I become like one of those respiration machines in hospitals that keep vegetable people alive. It takes all my energy to raise the chest of my lifeless illusion of you so that its cells can get the oxygen they need. And once I’ve succeeded at erasing myself with thoughts of you, what if there is a complication and your condition worsens? Who am I? And who are you? I thought I knew me, but I don’t.
Monologue written by Oriana Fox
Choreography by Katherine Shirley
Thanks to Michael Fox and Sven Olivier Van Damme.
(Photos by Alex Chappel)