Possession Principle, Flames of Protection, action, 3 hours, Enduring Sometimes Warring, INCA Institute, Detroit, 2012

through seductions self-slaughter
and I believe in the holy ghost
in your flames beyond our vision
blown light through the fingers of women
enduring warring
sometimes outside your name
we do not choose all our rituals

Call, Audre Lorde, 1986

The action Possession Principle, Flames of Protection took place in the basement. It’s dark, ink black. The audience found their way down the stairs with help of the light from the kitchen. In the room there were one chair and two mirrors, one laying on the floor in front of the chair and the other one leaning towards one of the walls. On one side of the chair there were six boxes of large matches and on the other side, one boiled egg, an alarm clock, a glass pitcher with water and a glass. The performance started by me writing a text, with a white chalk on the white wall, by using the method of Automatic writing. I was naked except for two white tank tops. In the beginning it was just the sound of the text being written that filled the room. Later on in the performance, the text continued on to the floor and became readable on the gray surface. Sitting on the chair, lights match after match, burns off body hair (except from the one on the head) starting from my toes, legs, arms, armpits, chest and pubic hair.

Forms of hair removal are practiced for a number of reasons, including cultural, sexual, medical and religious. Things are burning, in Detroit, in the world. People put things on fire for many reasons – heating, insurance, love, survival, uprisings against established authority and abuse of power, or as a mean of using power. Buildings, cars, forests, bodies are burning everyday, in war times, in all times.


The title, Enduring Sometimes Warring, coming from an "oblique" reading of the Audre Lorde text Call, refers to the silent resistance that enduring entails. The continuous upholding of certain dynamics that in rupture situations, breakage points, are transformed into loud shouts, changing the language and the signs in which the struggle can be read.

This conflagration will be composed of the films; Dyketactics by filmmaker Barbara Hammer, I Lay Claim To You by artist Chelsea Knight, Possession Principle, Flames of Protection, a performance by artist Malin Arnell, readings by Broadside Press representatives Chris Rutherford, Gloria House, Al Ward and Aurora Harris, past and present Broadside Press releases highlighted in the INCA library, the presence of all our bodies cruising in the space of INCA, interacting with a variety of interpretations and languages, exchanging impressions and experiences of our endurance, perhaps even sometimes warring.

Enduring Sometimes Warring, curated by Ulrika Gomm and Clara López

     Photo: Clara López  
     Photo: Clara López  
     Photo: Clara López  
 Left overs after the performance   Photo: Clara López