Spartan Children - The Prologue

Spartan Children - The Prologue

In preparation for an exhibition in the summer of 2017, I was asked to do a performance during the opening of the exhibition. I had always been fascinated and drawn towards performance, but never managed to execute one. 

In the period leading up to the exhibition, I engaged in several discussion on the subject of “survivability” and “quality of life” of people with disabilities. The question, wether or not some people enjoy or realise the fact that they are alive, was one that seems to have no answer, and is dangerous to answer. Deciding on the worthiness of life of another person is something that is hard to do in Western society. But during Spartan times, it was another custom, another ritual. Infants were judged at birth by ritually bathing them in wine. If they were “ill-born or deformed”, the children were left out in the open sun to die. In Roman literature, this was transformed into “throwing the baby’s off of cliffs”, something that probably never happened. 

In transferred my ideas on contemporary society on this issue, and the connection to the Spartan ritual, into a performance. During the performance, a God-like creature transforms clay into a child, baths it in wine, and throws himself off a hill during which he answers back to ritualistic questions and songs, which illustrate the question which we cannot answer.

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Dilum Coppens

Dilum Coppens

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