The Invitation is a performance work where I invite the audience to imagine a hypothetically perfect murder.
The Invitation creates a hypothetical scenario, using what is happening within the live performance space as its raw material. Within the scenario, I confess to the audience that I have always wanted to commit the perfect murder, but having announced it, cannot. So instead I invite the audience to imagine planning and executing a murder instead.
What follows is a speculative exploration of what is required to plan and execute a murder, and what it means to take part in violent fantasies. The piece in this way creates a space for each audience member to become their own agent within the piece, and free to imagine their actions.
However, by working in the register of a ‘hypothetical scenario’ the piece opens a troubling ethical space for the audience, where imagined actions are read as ‘potential’ rather than ‘fictional’.
As such, the audience have to consider their actual complicity in the creation of the scenario. As the piece progresses, the ‘Scenario’ and my personal ‘Framing’ of it, bleed into one another, with discussions of reality becoming more violent, and the security of the ‘hypothetical’ being eroded.
In researching the piece I have consulted with a former homicide detective and a professor of forensics, and this has led the piece to consider the psychology of murderers, the methods of detection (forensic and otherwise), and the broader culture that remains fascinated with the subject.
The aim of the finished piece is to explore how surveillance capitalism, fascism, and a separation from nature are building blocks in a pervasive culture that normalises violence; and to ask what do we do with the stories of violence that we surround ourselves with.