By Osman Baig
To express one’s truth is the goal of each artist, whatever media they employ, for unlocking the personal gives us the power to unlock the universal.
Eve & Adam: thanks for your collab is a deeply personal artistic performance which touches on global truths today.
I was fortunate enough to see the show in London, and it is now transferring to Collab NYC with support from New York City Artist Corps. Though as its creators – co-writer and performer Kasper Klop & co- writer and director Morwenna Spagnol – will attest, the New York version will be a very different show indeed.
The team say: “The Eve & Adam concept is a series of unique and site- specific performances, drawing from in-depth research on the culture, laws and political situation specific to each city/ country where the performances are happening.”
It is an ambitious goal, but one necessary for a project that so candidly touches on critical issues of international importance. Sexuality is a central theme of the project – in particular, the ways in which our physical expressivity can clash with mankind’s moralistic and intellectual mores.
For example, the show touches on genital mutilation, which to this day is considered by some to be curative, given the practice’s putative divination. And it is a horror that remains globally prevalent. Indeed, the UNFA, the sexual and reproductive health agency of the United Nations, recently launched a new youth-led initiative – the FGM HackLab – to speed up progress on ending FGM in Africa.
While the show doesn’t touch on specific elements like that, what it does so well is unlock the central human questions that pertain to such issues: Could the removal of female and male sexual parts be a punitive drift from the original sin? And thereby could science, even when enacted assiduously, essentially be playing a quasi-role as the hand of God?
The interdisciplinary nature of the project doesn’t offer easy answers: but then, I believe, it is instead the role of art to ask questions that may otherwise remain unspoken. Both creators are drawing on their strong backgrounds in multi-faceted performance: Klop mixes movement, puppetry, clown, and site-specific installation work to provoke and challenge the audience on multiple sensory levels; while Spagnol is known for her political and modern approach to storytelling, notably as a clown at the Bouglione Circus and as writer/director for performance art, theater, dance and cinema.
It is a world away from my own foray as a writer, producer and actor in the show Fake News, which is on tour in the UK, but like Kasper, who I trained with in London, both of us are expressing our truths in unique but inimitable ways.
As an artist and journalist, that is a thrilling endeavour for me to watch. And it’s a show that is not to be missed out on if you are keen on seeing the evolution of an artistic team coming into its own.
Eve & Adam: thanks for your collab runs at Collab NYC on October 28th at 8pm. Tickets are free, but reservations are required.