Five Beasts: Rinde Eckert & Ned Rothenberg with Adam Matta


  • Les Subsistances 8 bis quai saint vincent Lyon France

In workshop and performance at Les Subsistances Lyon France, March 21-29, 2015

The groundbreaking performance artist and the composer-performer, both honored veterans of the avant-garde, team up to create a piece that imagines how animals might perceive human beings, an illusion brought to life with an array of unconventional sounds and gestures. Five Beasts is a set of human portraits, men and women seen as if by an animal, the language a kind of music or noise, the gestures unaccountable. We are, most of us, lost in a forest of our own design, a welter of unconscious narratives, the pull of our complicated past, an obsessive constructor of futures, howling our troubled allegory of self: this is our masquerade-cum-delusion.

Five Beasts is a set of five portraits of the human animal as it manifests itself in the classic behaviors of predator, prey, ruminant, or scavenger, wolf, mouse, ox, ferret, vulture, dog, or bear, the animal as totem, the animal as guide, the animal as witness. These animals put our pretensions in relief, or challenge our grand anthropocentrism. They inform us, teach, if we listen. We are absurd and amazed and sometimes beautiful in our utter ignorance.