All Us Girls Have Been Dead For So Long by Linda Stupart & Carl Gent (2019)
I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Kathy Acker @Institute of Contemporary Art, London
Acker’s final published text, Eurydice in the Underworld, harnesses the Greek mythology of the heroic trip to hell; refocusing the story’s centre away from the male hero and onto the dead girl, who has been murdered by a snake.
Katabasis refers both to a journey into the underworld, and a trip to the coast. In times of climate crisis, hell – the realm of the dead, the scorching, the boiling, the rotting – is also situated at the sea, as waters heat, melt and rise.
All Us Girls Have Been Dead for So Long was a low-fi musical extravaganza flowing between beach and underworld, animating the animal, alien, and abject actors in our current climate apocalypse – most notably Ecco the Dolphin, who has lost their pod and must (like Eurydice, Orpheus and so on) travel deep beneath both time and space to rescue their missing and possibly dead kin.
Only a fool will now attempt to stop us girls. To halt our ecstatic singing. The death of season isn’t blackness, but another kind of light.
Virgil B/G Taylor as ECCO the Dolphin
Clémentine Bedos as The Woman
Linda Stupart as The Fortune-Telling Fish
Kelechi Anucha as The Orca
Carl Gent as The Greenland Shark
Andrew Ferguson as BP Deepwater Horizon
Sam Keogh as The Vortex Queen
Suzy Dunford-Gent as The Jellyfish
Dress rehearsal photography by Christa Holka, courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art