“No Future Fertility Ritual,” Lauren Fournier & Jen MacDonald
Sound installation and performance at White House Studio Project, Toronto (2015)
“No Future Fertility Ritual” is a 3 hour durational performance event with audience participation. The piece consists of two performers, Lauren Fournier and Jen MacDonald, engaging in a cult-like pastiche of fertility rituals. The performers create an immersive sonic environment, with natural bird sounds and upbeat dance tracks distorted and reverberating in the space. Recorded and projected using live video feedback, the women perform various exercises and gestures to invoke fertility: the gestures range from lightheartedly nonsensical to ominously serious. Objects like fertility mobiles are generated using materials that are cheap and disposable, introducing the central theme of a lack of futurity inspired byqueer theorist Lee Edelman’s No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. Halfway through the performance, the women undress revealing stylized incision marks on their bodies. The connotations of biopolitical power and the medicalization of bodies is foregrounded in the performers’ engagement with the audience through pseudo-scientific fertility tests. Genderqueer writer Beatriz Preciado’s Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era is a key intertext in framing the ideas explored in this work. The communal consumption of ‘kool-aid wine’ underscores the nature of this piece as a playful appropriation of the discourse of cults — a rogue approach to provoking the hegemonic heterosexual institutions governing fertility and its discontents.
More images on the artist’s website here: http://laurenfournier.net/portfolio/no-future-fertility-ritual/