Photo by Jemima Yong.

This work was developed on residency at ]performance s p a c e[ and presented at various F U T U R E R I T U A L events. 

yesterday I dreamt of flying


Joseph Morgan Schofield acts with and upon their body, calmly not-so-calmly piercing skin as if it was fabric. Not-so-calm because it requires me to be there, the witness, diluted in my witnessing, distracted, wanting rather to drape myself over the person next to me and breathe only in for a while, as Joseph takes care of breathing out. Or is it the other way around? Joseph does the breathing in, we do the breathing out. The tip of my tongue presses lightly into my front teeth and I suck the sides of this stupid, mute, always-active organ inwards, creating a rush of cold air between top and bottom jaw. “Thssshhhhhh.” Would I bite the bullet? Would I grab the needle? Would I feel pleasure? I feel only their body matters. I feel heroic for not running up and saving them and then I feel stupid and then I feel sad and then I feel brave and then I feel hot. We’ve all agreed to watch and learn. We consent to every moment because they’ve consented to the longest moment and all the moments and all the labour before and afterwards. The cleaning, the white flannel that turns red, the tentative, too-casual post-show discussions, the avoidances, the calm after the storm, the storm swirling above and around us as they tip hot wax onto their arm.

There’s a tension between action and impact, reaction and smooth, calm observation. Body as observant subservience. Malleable bloodstream. Tightening skin. Decisions made long ago coming back to serve us an enormous platter of fuck-the-present, hold-on-tight, simply-close-your-eyes-if-you-need-to feeling.

I’m starting to really want a tattoo.

Photo by Jemima Yong.

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Joseph Morgan Schofield, 2020