Life Sentences, short performances, DVD length: 6 mins
Performed, and filmed by Delpha Hudson 2003 at Dartington College of Art
Re-edited with text and sound, 2013
Life Sentences;Performance play on words intended to enunciate and explore the territory of motherhood, and whether it is possible to escape confinement.
Documented short performances intended to
a. play with the prosaic language of maxims, proverbs and sayings. These axioms, truisms, adages are often contained in one sentence, describing hidden truths, laying bare the ironies of existence. They are pungent, memorable, profound, provocative, dogmatic, pithy, entertaining, yet according to the root of the word (maxim) imply doom and condemnation.
Women themselves are often the source of this kind of advice.
b. Play with meanings that seem to be attached to motherhood in Western Society. In a context of confinement, meanings also confine, and contain mothers in the same way the life sentencing for criminals remove them from normal society. Mothers are often censured, blamed, and removed from public life, by necessity, expectation and imposition ; of staying home with baby
A sentence is usually pronounced on a criminal by a judge. Society is the judge that pronounces these ‘sentences’ on women
Sentences are intended to be a series of words so arranged to convey complete sense. Axioms, maxims, truisms, proverbs are often sentences which convey simultaneously such sense, and non-sense. The disjunction, but also the potential collusion between the collection sentences is performed formally in various ways.The rubbing together of meanings, which are textual, physical, symbolic, spoken, performed, object based…. intend to try to escape the ‘prison house of language’ (Vincent Leitch)