For the final event of 3hd 2021: “Power Play”, Creamcake presents a very special performance prompted by the systems of dominance and submission that govern our bodies and behaviours. Maria Metsalu and NAKED take to the shop floor of our Park Center Treptow HQ on October 23, to transform these mechanisms of control into physical experiences of bliss and discomfort. In enactments such as artful bondage, the bonded person responds to the life experience of trauma and violence through the discipline and control of sadomasochistic practice. This conscious shift in meaning moves the pain of experiencing destructive actions and asymmetrical relationships to the pleasure of enacting control and self-empowerment.
Happening within the walls of the former commercial space-come-cultural project of exchange and community, alternative forms of negotiation and transgression, as well as a redefining of boundaries will be explored through consensual action. Together with collaborators Jaakko Pallasvuo and Oxhy—working with text and sound, respectively—and fellow performer Mina Tomic, Metsalu presents an unintentional and accidental but inevitable sequel to her 2017 solo performance, “Mademoiselle x”. Where that piece was inspired by Cotard’s Syndrome—a neuropsychiatric condition where a person believes parts of their body are missing—and the notion of simultaneous disconnection and connection it implies, “The well” takes the concept further by incorporating the audience as agents within the work, and confronting them with both their passivity and complicity as observers and actors. Rather than being witnesses of a passive declaration of emotional turmoil, the audience is invited to perceive power, and how it inflicts itself on the mad body. NAKED’s Agnes Gryczkowska also implicates her onlookers with her confrontational presence during a performance that shifts between extremities: from masochism to submission, from pain to pleasure, from violence to softness. The feeling of fear and vulnerability morphs into that of empowerment, anger and hedonistic pleasure.
Concept: Maria Metsalu
Text: Jaakko Pallasvuo & Maria Metsalu
Performers: Maria Metsalu & Mina Tomic
“The well” is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Culture, and 3hd Festival. „The Well“ is co-produced by Kanuti Gildi SAAL and Maria Metsalu.