About the Grant

$25,000 to support Kevin Cunningham's Degeneracy (MAP 2004), a large scale inter-media performance work inspired by recent revelations about the paradoxical biomechanics of memory and passion.

About the Project

Degeneracy is a new large-scale multi-media theater work by Kevin Cunninghham. Inspired by the paradoxical biomechanics of memory and passion, Degeneracy explores the raw internal life of a man up to his chin in water who believes he is floating in a Caribbean cove. On an isolated beach, a young woman’s eyes glow infra-red. She sings an urgent deathbed confession made at the height of orgasm. The young woman is straining to connect, glowing ice blue 20 feet high, the man in the tank, soaked, blindered by a welding mask that keeps flipping down over his face, sadly is only able to respond to this mix of subtle passionate emotion by re-processing a series of pornographic clichés. He sits at an editing station re-cutting the tail end of a failed marriage, vainly hoping for a better outcome. Out of a rubber cloud above him, suspended bodies drop. Ex-wives, lovers, friends correct his edits like ad agency clients cutting a new Gap commercial. The final edit resembles nothing so much as the sad truth. The water rises and the welding mask flops down, once again he’s floating oblivious in that Caribbean cove. A Krapp’s Last Tape for the digital age, in Degeneracy, more is more. A multi-camera array scans his every tiny micro gesture, the memories overlap, confabulate and degenerate out rachis of loss, self-absorption and good intentions. The cameras whir into position to capture a 360º image of his head. From his peripheral vision, the cast of a doubtful life drops singing and yammering for correction or peace. Our “hero’s” head explodes across the stage and finally, he remembers…
From Kevin Cunningham's <EM>Degeneracy</EM>
From Kevin Cunningham's Degeneracy


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