Untitled (Owl Experiment #101)

mothertongues is Meital Yaniv & Kim Ye.

Through collaboration, mothertongues creates a sphere of authorization to exercise communal frustrations, aspirations and fears using our bodies as objects of resistance. Like jazz musicians, we employ a call and response technique to augment one another’s intuitive decisions in the performing, filming, and editing process. Tears, laughter, joy, pain, vulnerability, and bravery co-mingle through mental and physical interpersonal explorations. As amatuer scientists, we run experiments of desire on ourselves and each other, observing and documenting the chemical reactions that occur between elements. In recording our findings as specifically and subjectively as possible, we create a fiction that speaks the truth.

Untitled (Owl Experiment #101), single-channel video by mothertongues, 2017. Duration: 5 minutes 46 seconds

Untitled (Owl experiment #101), is a 5 minute 46 second a single-channel video in which the artists abstract their bodies through obfuscation and costume exchange to explore the physics of pleasure through a DIY purple vibrating owl. Set in a blank space outfitted with only a bench and wrestling mat, the artists position their bodies in different configurations, tetrising themselves and their desires in an attempt to reach a transcendent place of mutual pleasure. In this mundane space, bodies cultivate intimacy on their own, placing themselves outside of both romantic and pornographic contexts. In contrast to popular queer representation, the viewer’s pleasure is set aside in lieu of a more honest expression of pleasure and climax.

The purple owl used in this performance is deconstructed in front of the camera, exposing its construction and transformation as a custom, handmade tool. Independent of the video, the purple owl is a relic that represents the fantasy of total individual fulfillment while being in connection with another. Through a process of bricolage involving pieces of pre-existing sex toys–i.e. vibrating bullet and fleshlight–encased by a children’s balloon, the new creation informes the bodies on how to interact and move with one another.