CEREMONY OF THE VOID was a large-scale performance commission by ZOE WILLIAMS at DRAF, London (now the Roberts Institute of Art ) in September 2017.
During a voluptuous banquet, Williams invited visitors to experience her fantastical immersive landscape involving artist-made delicacies, musicians, performers, video projections, costumes and ceramic sculptures. The players moved around the space in latex costumes, designed by H Y D R A, fed each other and drink light yellow liquor from a central ceramic fountain, made by the artist and Rochester Square. Part tableaux vivant, the performance teetered on the edge of the grotesque to explore notions of collective consumption, power exchange, pleasure, gluttony and ritualised behaviour.
Serenaded by a semi-improvised score from musicians Viki Steri (Cello), Dario Papavassiliou (Santur) and Patchfinder (Electronics), the performers indulged in a carnivalesque scene that was at times overtly sexual. This disorientating scene was enacted over an hour and a half to reach the intoxicated frenzy of an indulgent party, during which the visitor was invited to share in the revelry.
Read the press release and artist text here
Musicians: Patchfinder, Viki Steiri, Dario Papavassiliou.
Performers: Mensah A. Bonsu, Freya Field-Donovan, Susu Laroche, Deniz Unal, Nadja Voorham, Tenko Nakajima Glenewinkel, Sarah Hartnett, Cicely Travers.
Thanks to in-kind supporters of the performance Ceremony of the Void: perfume provided by Nishane, Istanbul; costumes by H Y D R A Sartorial Latex; ceramic works produced by Rochester Square; and Suze Saveur d’Autrefois liqueur provided by Pernod-Ricard.
Thanks to DRAF Galleries Circle and Arts Council England for supporting performance at DRAF.