3 Reflections²

Responsive text from Daniela Valz Gen

The following is an account of each and every performance that took place in May 2022 during the Future Ritual programme at the ICA London.

This is a reflection fermented and distilled over time, two months after the performances took place. As such it’s based on notes taken in the moment, inaccurate recollections after the fact, and imaginings.

A few preliminary notes on particular understandings of Ritual and Performance Art:

My practice and my understanding of ritual is rooted in the treatment of its time-space container as existing outside of linear time and logic. In this sense, ritual becomes a space for timeline collapse, oracular knowledge, play, and communication with the other than human, amongst many other things.

In the meeting between ritual and performance art further considerations become relevant. Ritual as performance is punctured by the realities and limitations of venues, technology, audiences that might participate or expectate according to their capacity and/or desire, and by art discourse itself —encompassing aesthetics, context, references, critical theory, etc.

The following personal account reflects the fact that I’m both a ritualist and an artist trained in the codes and discourses of my field, it reflects my position. In declaring what is perhaps obvious, I want to call attention to the fact that there’s a generative two-fold dynamic at play, a tension. While I often crossed through the portal facilitated by the four artists to access wild spiritual abandon throughout the whole duration of the Future Ritual programme at the ICA, my cognitive brain also made synaptic discharges linking images to other images in a series of performance art references.


3 Reflections² Benjamin Sebastian May 18 2022

3 x 3 actions on 3 altars
Live chanting, recorded and looped Voice Soil Fire Light Blood


I called out and all that I heard is the echo of a star. Soft warm light and the smell of soil.

Benjamin’s voice touches me and I feel sadness, a sense of aloneness, a vastness.

Why do we mark ourselves? What is it that marks us?

Echoes are traces
and we remember by marking.
Everything fades as it collapses into something else.

We are retracing echoes, retrieving from the subtle, the whisper.

The markings on Benjamin’s skin will only be legible later on. Right now the body is being inscribed.

My decade old friend, my memories of their body through the years. The intimacy of witnessing someone’s work over time,
Our own personal anthology

The buzz from the tattoo gun triggers a sigh, I’m hit by a lonely distant feeling and the recognition in my own body of my pain.

Act 2

The echo of a previous time,
a cock ring and a crystal harness.

I have the legs of a man
I have the heart of a child

I have the weight of a woman
I have the sex of a lamb
They clawed me out of the womb the wound

I’m more than my body

Fractals of light Mercury

My guts are glistening Listening

I’m more than my body
My gods are crystalline
And my soul is made of mercury

Benjamin rotates and shimmers
A disco ball dance sorrow diva star A celestial body

Act 3 Wolf

Lace gimp grinding wolf
I want to write you a love letter:

You are my mirror little lamb wolf. Cry wolf on me
haunt my heart as I hear your wail.

howl wail cry sorrow

Wolf You Wolf

Look at the wolf in the mirror Dare to look
Defy and teach

Teach me to look (at) my wolf

My wolf
Teach me to retrieve

I called out and all that I heard was the echo of a child (of a lamb)

(echo chamber)

Shedded wool of shaved grey hair on the carpet: My gods
My guts

My gods are crystalline (my guts are crystalline)

They severed my tie to source (and yet and yet)

The fragile crystal armour reflects the light back at you
back at me

Flapping fallous lashing cock

Until it comes: Wolf!
Until it comes again Wolf!
Flap flap

Tired an laboured wolf Glistening with sweat I shiver:

Is it working? Is it working yet?
How to see what others see?
How to look at the one in the mirror? How to call out howl wail cry

Boomerang sonic vibrations How to respond?

Sad wolf,

I’m more than wolf

My body a star
I have the legs of a man Wolf!
I have
I have


Heavenly Shower of Bank Notes
Soojin Chang in collaboration with Georgie (Rei-n) Lo May 21, 2022

A fighting ring, a stage, a feast

Meat, Fruit and Milky Drinks Money

You must feed or pay Do not come too close

The stiletto clad feeder and the baby-like being are joined by a braid, like two fantastic parts of the same being.
From Rei-n’s tail to Soojin’s head?
Or was it the other way around?

Like the imps in The Devil card (one is an aspiring devil)
Where is the Devil?
Are we the devil calling the shots? Who is the unruly character?

Are they there as a pet?

Feed a treat to the bitch
A treat of meat
A treat of milk
Some dollars and a cloud of red puff

Glimmering chicken skin and shiny fruits

But who controls who? Who pulls on who? Who calls the shots?
Us? Them?

Where are we and what’s happening with this lounge music drone? Are we in a film set? The private room inside a Casino?

(I’m willing myself in but I feel pushed back by the disjunction,
not quite enough gorging despite the mise en place.
The images are strong and I’m searching for a tangible sense of connection between them, between them and us.

I have the sense of intruding in the working out of a movie scene) Until it bursts.

A sample played on a loop:

Chinese people love money Pray to the god of money

Distorted and again, blaring.

The ritual burst like a piñata. It popped.

(It’s over too soon)

I only caught a glimpse of a gorging feast. I remained outside.
Watching. Peeping.



With bare feet touching the sky I yearn Joseph Morgan Schofield
May 26, 2022

A suspended carcass Ribbon
A metal bucket
A video projection
A spade

The scene itself is full of ghosts and expectation.

I wait in the red light and smell the soil,
the hum gets into my spine :
I feel my inner waters vibrate as I look at dry bones.

The sizzle of a blowtorch Smoke, a faint scent of gas

(My eyes burn)
Embers flicker on the tip of a wooden pole

Stone on a metal spade Stone in a mouth,

Knocking about knock knock knock

(A call, persistent)

What is this sense of foreboding? Where are we?
What else is there?

The sound of fire bursts
Black wax drips on Joseph’s pale chest

—Tattoos Sigils Lace—

Like the carcass that presides over the space As if saying: we too are already dead

We are with death
in a tangle of shimmery ribbon

An open mouth pulling on cord

Across space Across time Across life

I feel Joseph’s mouth in my spine and my rib cage: pulling at my tendons, my own carcass.

Psychopomp childlike and in black satin, their flesh pierced
as if to say:

I’m here I bleed I’m here

(I’m here with you)

From blood to clay
From red to fade
A desire to exit
A gesture towards absolute presence and effacement at the same time

The space has been pierced
All that’s left is a sad tender holding.


EVERY TIME I TRACE THE HORIZON MY HANDS CATCH FIRE [Book Performance, Chapter III] Rubiane Maia in collaboration with Tiffany Auttrianna Ward May 29 2022

Rubiane and Tiffany dressed in white boiler suits
Tiffany sits and reads
Rubiane labours with several lengths of heavy blue nautical rope

What follow is a collage of what I retain from Rubiane’s stream of consciousness, as read by Tiffany, and my impressions of Rubiane’s actions.

The crooked little finger making a heart
A writing that comes from a craving, a non-place, the absence of a stand point.

You must protect your hands from themselves
and the echoes from the earth, the awoken volcano

Your son’s fingers touch each other as he looks at you. In the space where your father and your son meet.

Who are you addressing?
Who are you asking to fabricate you a new body?

Turning in and out
feeling, stretching the blue rope through gloved hands


You give birth to yourself
Tagging at rope, at cord
The primal gesture of our embryonic state

You address yourself You summon yourself and more

An existence without homeland A freedom

You labour, you work, you play with rope Through seven rebirths and six great darknesses

You move the rope and we set off You tug and the air shifts

You are here to pull thread across time

Your father appears again. A river.

Rope rubs on rope: the sound of friction

I zone in and out, from action to words and back again.

This is not a monologue, it’s a conversation across time and a summoning You embody these words, a polyphonic entity

You drag a huge tangle of heavy rope through the floor You go faster, in circles

Are you tired listening to your words?
Through this borrowed voice, this ghost voice
A collapse of timelines in a body, a voice, a channel transmission


Rubiane, your father and your son
The spirits that you evoke, or rather invoke as they pass through you and you pull, you tug

Your sharp voice
Your blade
My hands love everything which is not virtuous, you say Tiffany says

The ghosts speak

You lash the rope again and again as you feel those who drowned

You summon you invoke

You cross the line that divides life and death

An echo of thousands of voices saying I can’t breathe stills the room

You groan

What am I doing here?
What am I doing in this life if I don’t know how to live it?

Light, you are not white, you are polychromatic

And you are polyphonic
You pull at both ends of the rope without letting it break

Lashing the line Curving the line Whip

A single line carries all the structures of mutability A rope can kill

thread noose gallows chain cable wire weapon twisted lines

as someone would sing exorcising demons unravelling them

Respect for your rage
A rainbow snake, your mouth

Your voice
the rope is the tongue is the rope

Blue fire blue rope The heart is fire
an island made of fire

Fire is the mother of earth
Your tired hands loosen their grip

Art is a privileged field for tragic confrontation This rope is a safety device