No New Idols • Riga Sculpture Quadrennial
Performance: Paul Regan as The Pope from No New Idols by La Pocha Nostra, VestAndPage, Francesca Carol Rolla and collaborators, Riga Sculpture Sculpture Quadrennial, Riga LV, 2019. Photo: Linda Kaposta.
Excerpts from LXVI. Out of Service
from Thus Spake Zarathustra by Nietzsche
I was seeking the pious man, a saint and an anchorite, who, alone in his forest, had not yet heard of what all the world knoweth at present.”
“WHAT doth all the world know at present?” asked Zarathustra. “Perhaps that the old God no longer liveth, in whom all the world once believed?”
“Thou sayest it,” answered the old man sorrowfully. “And I served that old God until his last hour.
Now, however, am I out of service, without master, and yet not free; likewise am I no longer merry even for an hour, except it be in recollections.
Therefore did I ascend into these mountains, that I might finally have a festival for myself once more, as becometh an old pope and church-father: for know it, that I am the last pope! A festival of pious recollections and divine services.
Now, however, is he himself dead, the most pious of men, the saint in the forest, who praised his God constantly with singing and mumbling.
Photo: Linda Kaposta.
Remove Your Mask • from Perception of the Self as part of the Venice International Performance Art Week | Workshop Series
Performance exploration with Paul Regan and Marisa Gareffa during the 10-day Intensive Performance Summer Class by Vest&Page & Andrigo&Aliprandi “Perception of the Self” as part of the Venice International Performance Art Week | Workshop Series C32 Performing Art Work Space, Forte Marghera, Venice (IT), 2018. Words by Marisa Garreffa. Photographs © Lorenza Cini.
I want to remove your mask with poetry,
but you built it out of everything that I am afraid of.
I want to remove your mask with poetry but I come from a place where men laugh, and laugh, and laugh, until they suicide, and I have lost the words.
I want to remove your mask with poetry, but I am reaching inside of myself and I can find only darkness with some twisted thing coiling inside.
I want to remove your mask with poetry, but beauty has fled.
I should use sweet words, soft words, to help you.
I know that I have found sweetness in my life,
that I am a seeker of beauty.
I know that I should take beautiful words and I should offer them to you, to help you take this mask from yourself,
but you built your mask from everything that I fear.
You built your mask from an open mouth, from a licking tongue,
from a constant staring.
From a staring and wet mouth licking as you hover,
and I know that I should stop and help you lift your mask with poetry, but in my fear I hate you.
I hate you,
and with every lick of your lips and slide of your spit,
you are everything that has ever hurt me.
I should lift your mask with poetry,
because I know the man who is underneath it.
I met him and he is kind and he cares,
but I haven’t seen him
not for a long stretch of time,
because he chose to put on this mask,
because he feels safer inside of it
and his safety costs me my own.
His safety puts me face to face with my horror
and I want you to come back
I want you to emerge, safe, from beneath
but I cannot give my poetry to do it.
I have no poetry in the face of what I fear.
I have no poetry.
In the face of that wet mouth I have only rage, and hurt, and fear,
and I’m so angry,
and so I stand in front of you, of him,
and I want to speak with love and I want to speak with beauty,
but all I can do is scream,
and match your spit with my own.
I work to contain the fire twist of rage
and I spit words of water.
Words of letting go.
Words of releasing into the blue.
But even after your mask has fallen.
The echo of a scream beats my heart.
You stand in acceptance.
As my spit lands on your sweat.
Two mountains in ruins, in fear.
First one holds ground for the other, and then exchange.
The tectonic plates slide and the earth of both is cracked,
Soft hands that can tear through brick,
so the molten core can release its heat.
The crack is where the light gets in, but also the pain,
also the horror.
Anything can come in through the door.
So we must choose.
We must choose what we allow through the crack.
What we will make with the fragments of our lives.
The pieces come from horror but all is transformed.
“Fractures of beauty from our violated inner landscapes.”
I want to give you poetry, but all that comes is a song.
From a night of darkness when I slipped under the water,
when all ended, but for the first time I understood
that all must end but there was no need to also kill my body,
I would die, without killing myself
and so I sat in the space of suicide
dying without taking an action
and a song came from the ocean beneath
that I give to you
in place of a poem
No one’s coming,
no one is coming.
No one is coming for me, and there’s no God.
I’ll keep waiting.
I’ll keep waiting.
I’m just waiting for my soul to rise.
When the wave takes you under, salt eyes stinging sand crash
we don’t fight
we meet whatever we find
we allow the crack to open and with whatever pours through
take form take sound take light
we meet our inner world
and we do not flinch
we stand and we hold its hand
we let ourselves be changed
we choose what we grow in cracks of stone.