The New Joys of Gellies Performance Documentation
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The New Joys of Gellies
Sound by Williamson Brasfield
Abrons Art Center, Underground Theater
January 29, 2019
In conjunction with the exhibition Extremely absorbent and increasingly hollow, Alison Kuo performs The New Joys of Gellies, engaging notions of sacrifice, sensuality, and aspiration contained in the material properties and social history of gelatin in the United States in a series of fleshy, squishy gelatin action-vignettes. The performance is derived from Kuo’s research on gelatin in the United States, from its early use in wartime rationing, to its emergence as a colorful object of desire, and arriving at its present-day inedible counterpart, slime: a goopy, stretchy mixture of glue and household chemicals like borax, baking soda, and contact solution that is often colored with dyes and glitter.
Taking an operational cue from slime videos that circulate ubiquitously online, in The New Joys of Gellies Kuo approaches gelatin as an object of desire, caressing, kneading, prodding it, and experimenting with its material properties through touch. Imposing ephemeral destruction as one would with ever-expendable slime, she propels her body into the rendered bodies of anonymous animals that transform from powder back into sinews and cartilage with the addition of hot water and kinetic energy.
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