ULAPAARC (Paul Abbott and Cara Tolmie) Eagress

Camden Arts Centre

7 March 2018 – 7.00pm

PS/Y’s Hysteria programme and Camden Arts Centre present Eagress, a new performance by ULAPAARC, the collaborative work of Paul Abbott and Cara Tolmie.

Through drums, voice, movement and text, Abbott and Tolmie will investigate the psychoanalytic concept of ‘hysteria’ as a complex, historical set of negotiations between bodies and their description.

Drawing from questions surrounding language, performance and the body as page, their work will explore the conflict of articulation that arises between authorial institutions – such as The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (1952) – and the enigmatic language of ‘somatic symptoms’ spoken through the skin of the so-called hysteric body.

Eagress aims to generate learning through site-specific experimentation and derail authoritative, normalising vocabularies in favour of a more complex set of agrammatic and non-verbal languages, referencing Naomi Segal’s observation: ‘If the hysteric’s body does the speaking, it is on her surface—gestures, voice, the skin—that the act of speaking takes place.’

Naomi Segal, ‘Witnessing through the skin: the hysteric’s body as text’, in Journal of Romance Studies, vol 9 no. 3, Winter 2009: 73–85.

Paul Abbott is an artist and musician based in London, working through questions and feelings connecting music and language: using real and imaginary drums, synthetic sounds, performance and writing. His current collaborations include XT & lll人 with Seymour Wright and Daichi Yoshikawa, Falls with Keira Greene, ULAPAARC with Cara Tolmie and a quartet project with Tolmie, Wright and Will Holder. Recent releases include solo’s Sphuzo, qno, & Vagus and Pah’ (XT), and vjerhanxsk (lll人). He is one of the co-editors of Cesura//Acceso and was one of the Sound and Music ‘Embedded’ resident artists at Cafe Oto 2015-16. Abbott has collaborated and performed with numerous other artists and musicians, including Benedict Drew, Pat Thomas, Ute Kanngiesser, Billy Steiger, Bill Orcutt, Danny Haywood, Joel Grip, Brandon La Belle, Eddie Prevost, Steve Noble, Sebastian Lexer, Evan Parker and Otomo Yoshihide.

Cara Tolmie works from within the intersections of performance, music and moving image. Her works probe the site-specific conditions of performance-making by finding ways to vocalise and place her body in order to access the political and poetic capabilities of physical, written and musical languages. Collective practice is an intrinsic component of Cara’s ongoing work. She regularly collaborates with: Paul Abbott as ULAPAARC; artists Kimberley O’Neill/France-Lise McGurn; collective vocal group DRANG (Mia Edelgart, Deirdre Humphreys, Katrine Gjerding and Anna Waerum); artist Patrick Staff on the ongoing performance Litmus Shuffle; and, as a quartet with Will Holder, Paul Abbott and Seymour Wright. More recently, Tolmie has also collaborated with artist Corin Sworn and on new performance Aphelion Slip with dancer Zoë Poluch and artist Kim Coleman using intelligent lighting, movement and sound.

Image: ULAPAARC (Cara Tolmie and Paul Abbott), Eagress, 2018. Camden Arts Centre. Commissioned by PS/Y for Hysteria. Photo by Manuela Barczewski