screaMachine performance / installation proposal
A naked male performer drags a bible, attached by string to his penis, across an image (multi-layered Photoshop file) projected on the floor. His hands are behind his back, holding a scroll of paper (his Irish birth certificate). An operator works the computer feeding the signal to the projector. The operator, using a Wacom tablet set to Photoshop’s eraser tool, tracks the bible’s path across the image; the eraser tool erases the upper layer of the image, revealing the layer below, giving the impression that the bible is erasing the image as it moves across. The performer continues to drag the bible in an inward spiral until he reaches the center of the image and all of the upper image (layer) has been removed. The performer exits the projection area, dragging the bible with him.

The performer’s hands are behind his back holding his birth certificate.

A video projector projects an image onto the gallery floor. The performer drags the bible across the projected image. A somber, church-like soundtrack gradually merges into sounds of talking and laughter (voices of the artist & lover).
The performer walks backwards, dragging the bible across the projected image. A bible is on the ground, attached by a string to the performer’s penis (through a pierced hole in his foreskin). As the real bible moves across the image, it appears to erase the projected representation of the open bible revealing the image on the layer below. The bible is dragged along an inward spiral path, slowly revealing the image of the artist and his lover. After the upper image is erased, the performer slowly exits the area dragging the bible with him.
The upper layer image is a representation of an open bible. It consists of a collage of passages from various sections of the bible dealing with sexuality - both male and female.
For detail view click here

The lower layer image is a representation of the artist and his lover. They are locked in a naked embrace that is both romantic and sexual but not pornographic.
This piece is designed to be an installation that is inaugurated by the performance. An overhead camera records the performance; this footage is then looped and played back through the projector continuously, thus forming the fixed installation. The viewer is presented with an image of the performance shot from above, giving the impression that there is a (virtual) cut-out in the floor and the performance is taking place on the floor below.
“Drag” serves as a cathartic cleansing of the artist’s spiritual and religious upbringing in Ireland. It takes the sexually repressive doctrines that are central to the self-identity of a ‘good Irish catholic’ and erases them, replacing them with an image of non-repressive sexual ease. While liberating himself from his catholic past, the artist makes sure he retains his Irish identity by clutching his Irish birth certificate throughout the process. While many would argue that religious identity is synonymous with national identity in Ireland, as exemplified by the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland; the artist shows that a break from this past is possible.
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Drag @ D.A.C. Gallery 2008

Drag @ Moving Image Gallery 2000

© Gearóid Dolan, 2004. All rights reserved