magdalena hill

performance Laughter root I 2010 I Wroclaw I Poland

Laughter root



Laughter root was created spontaneously in my mother's garden. The garden makes me laugh hysterically and also calms a kind of sarcastic attitude I have towards myself--something like the ego on a merry-go-round looking for the watering hole.

The apparent frivolity of the actions taking place in the garden scene – watering, posing, laughing, standing, acting – turns on itself through layering and repetition, creating a tension that builds throughout the sequence, eventually erupting into cacophonous absurdity. Comfortable imagery of plants, water, and myself are manipulated and pushed together, growing more and more unfamiliar and strange. The visuals in combination with the rootless laughter – laughter with no obvious source or meaning – brings about an overall sense of superficiality and emphasizes the illusory nature of gestures, perception, things. The over-exaggeration of all these once-mundane elements calls attention to what we may normally take for granted, eliciting a distancing effect from the everyday.  This distance offers the possibility for thoughtfulness and transformation, and even meditation. Like a tethered horse, meditation can allow one to remain in one place and observe the fleeting theatrics of life. No longer caught up chasing and laughing at this play, there is now opportunity to see every moment as fresh, singular, and meaningful. Laughter root is both personal and universal. It coaxes the viewer to consider their own space where absurdity might lead to new ways of thinking closer to the root of perspective.