Qulture Shock: Tempest in a Teapot

Posted on February 27, 2012 by


“Tempest in a Teapot” was performed by  Shaun Bartone and Cynthia Ryder as part of the Hoot & Peep festival of performance art, spearheaded by Salon Connex, a co-production of the Charlotte St. Arts Centre and Gallery Connexion. Bartone and Ryder performed the show on Wednesday, February 8, from 1 to 4 PM, in the windows of the Owl’s Nest Bookstore on Queen Street in Fredericton. The show was designed by Shaun Bartone, in collaboration with Cynthia Ryder, to explore themes of repression: sexual repression, artistic repression, and cultural repression.

Tempest in a Teapot: an exploration of sexual repression. The Anglican prayer book begins Sunday service with “May all hearts be open and all desires known.” The English High Tea frames the culture of repression that simultaneously allows for “all desires to be known.” Under a picture of the Queen, Cynthia and Shaun will sip tea while fully clothed, yet also wearing bondage attire, and read passages from banned books. A display of banned books will illustrate the ‘tempest in the teapot.’ The tension between repression and visible desire is simultaneously screened in a monitor, showing a video, “Slut: A Drama in One Word”, alternating with found films of tea services from around the world. Watching over this scene is a picture of Oscar Wilde, proposed as a comment on the theme of sexual and cultural repression.Wilde, the great Irish playwright and the most flaming homosexual of his day, once gave a speech in Fredericton City Hall on the topic of Aesthetics. Many of his plays and writings skewered English imperialism with its stuffy culture of Victorian repression.

Here’s video from Charle’s LeBlanc’s coverage of the performance.

Posted in: Qulture Shock