Nerve Harness

The piece is an hommage to Antonin Artaud and his radio play “To have done with the judgement of god” in which he writes speaking of man: 

“When you will have made him a body without organs, then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions and restored him to his true freedom.”

“But who’s to Blame”, repeats the character in Nerve harness, as he utters poetic truths about the state of the world. And this is perhaps his salvation. With this steady reminder that there is no one at fault in reality, the character can find peace, his frustrations abated. 

There is also the element of poetry, which allows the character to transcend his current predicament. Through improvising the spoken word, he can go beyond the mind and body, become fresh and truly alive, no longer oppressed by his ‘nerve harness’.

A ‘nerve harness’ could be understood as something which is constraining the nerve, or nervous system, holding it in check, strapping the nerve, like a straight-jacket harnesses a ‘lunatic’ in a mental institution. The nervous system’s freedom and expression is then corrupted by a ‘nerve harness’; an addiction, an alcoholism, a hyper-consumerism, a neurosis, and specifically, in this case, a language; a legitimate neurological expression suppressed. Blocking the flow of life. 

As Carl Jung writes “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.”

The character pours alcohol on the floor as he pays his respect to the states, the state, the organ, the dead. A dead language, a dead state of mind and dead institutions.

As he points out, we inherit this social baggage at a young age and it becomes a part of our identity. Perhaps through clear seeing and creativity we can unidentify from our indoctrination and neurotic complexes and find peace and flow, as the traffic flows past like a river.

With Ekua McMorris

Close up shot and hand held camera by James Parkin

%d bloggers like this: