Perpetual Motion Food - A 24 Hour Re-Enactment, 1902 - 2007
"The act of love is of no importance, since it can be performed indefinitely"THE SUPERMALE, ALFRED JARRY
In Alfred Jarry's SUPERMALE (1902) we encounter 2 bets about the limits of human physical capabilities, a question that is also very important in today's sports, science and media culture as well as for the research in longevity.
In Jarry's story, the question is how often a man can satisfy a woman. Jarry's "Indian" performed 82 times with the non-explicit help of the elixir "PERPETUAL MOTION FOOD" which was tested already in the 10/000 Miles race. Needless to point out, that we are remembered here of the racist legacy of European and North American sexual fantasies - that also have survived in new versions.
The 24 performance in the story was observed by a doctor from outside through a glass whole. Towards the end of the performance a glass pannel breaks as it does so often when love enteres the game in Alfred Jarry's writings. (and later in Marcel Duchamps' interpretations of AJ ideas)
Today, enhancing sexual performance has become a multi-billion dollar biz with Viagra and many other products on the market (like in the 10.000 miles race, some performers die of heart problems as a negative side effect).
On December 6 and 7, 2007, my girl friend Romana and I have re-enacted this 24 hours as well as we could with the help of today's Perpertual Motion Food equivalent. The product was interestingly enough sent to us from India, after having it ordered on the internet from a generic US/Canadian web site. In the story, the "Indian" performed the act 82 times plus though it was the main protagonist in disguise - a distinguished French 30 year old weirdo man, the protagonist adventurer André Marcueil, under the motto: "what one man can do, another can do as well."
We videotaped the act during the 24 hours but fell asleep during 3 hours so we didn't manage to film those. Needless to say, due to tissue stress we couldn't reach the "82 times plus" of the SUPERMALE but managed to get into the double digits and pass the "limits of human capacities"
According to Alfred Jarry:
"The 'Indian" is either a curiosity or a fiction, he's not an amusement! It requires a lot of little precautions! After ....eleven, for example, to mention only the rudiments, and since we cannot avoid numbers... just before we come to the limits of human capacities .... After eleven .... there comes the point where the woman writhes, howling, and runs around the room like - the popular expression is admirable! - like a poisoned rat!"
(sorry, this is really Alfred Jarry speaking, not me..- to add a little bit more of his terrible SUPERMALE (( they are always monsters)) in this story the protagonist also "practices" his "art" on another woman who is raped to death without resurrection))
In Supermale the female protagonist, the virgin woman, Ellen Elston, fainted and nearly died. She refered to herself as being "several women". We clearly weren't "several women" and, thankfully, nor did I become a supermale with super organs and super tissues.
Our 24 Perpetual Motion Food peformance was nontheless a wonderful artistic experiment, a kind of "love in". When not making love we were mostly reading Alfred Jarry's Supermale text out loud, or chatted throughout the 24 hours. We did reach exhaustion and also slept a bit (the protagonists slept as well quite a few hours - so we deserved it as well). But it was really a practice not only in love making but also in love living since we disconnected ourself from phones and mostly also from internet (with a few exceptions on the way to the bathroom). Eating was also allowed and I cooked some Spaetzle, with Gruyère cheese mentioned in the Supermale story as "superfood".
We had a lot of pleasure doing it and also had lots of fun photographing, filming and even drawing ourselves. I found it extremely interesting to video tape our bodies during love making and was quite surprised about the difference in result to what runs as pornography, a miserable, stereotypical practice I find of little interest. Our easy going eating, drinking, reading, chatting, playing and love making over such an extendend period reminded me of the hippy times where "making love and not war" was the denominator of a lot of experimental practices.
It was a wonderful time to forget about the world for 24 hours and just dedicate all my energy and mind to loving Romana and discover more and more of her beauty.
Of course, now we are sitting on this beautiful erotic - and in the end hillariou, funny and absurd body of work that we cannot show publicly for many many reasons.
The secrecy and a very high price for this work is part of this art piece in order to limit its visibility and increase it as an imaginary piece that originated in literature. (A possible collector will have to agree to viewing and distribution restrictions to be detailed)
The actual work consists of :
21 - 1 hour mini-dv tapes (editon of 3)
a folder of 10 photographs 8.5 x 11 inches (also not to be reproduced) (editon of 3)
12 drawings (pencil and ball pen) including the "story board" (what happened) (no editon, each drawing will be different though share the same source)
24 h perpetual motion food drawing