We were fortunate. Apparently, the horse does not always shit, but in our case his entrance precipitated a great outpouring of feces, which we got to smell in fulminating waves, cascading across the nostrils of the audience—no, hitting us like a wall. JULIUS CAESAR. SPARED PARTS confronts the horror of death from a scatological optic. The show opens with a dramatic whip-LASH, an outrageous, triggering explosion, as aggressive as a screaming train barreling through an enclosed station.
Sergio Scarlatella defiles the stark white set by running an endoscope along his pores. We are introduced to his oils, his daggerlike stubble, the earwax clinging to little hairs. He runs it up his nostril to the glottis, the moist, labial folds which vibrate to shape and modulate the winds we project up through them from our lungs. He begins the dialogue from the opening scene of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Flavius berates a sardonic commoner who celebrates Caesar’s victory over beheaded Pompey. We see Scarlatella’s face, but the greatest motion on the stage is the alien creature at the back of his throat. This vocal sphincter is distinctly vaginal and yet not. Its muscular contractions, its dexterity and expressiveness bespeak more an anal representation, or a skinned octopus. The hole in Dalmazio Masini’s throat, through which his larynx was apparently removed, calls back to Scarlatella’s glottis, as his delivery of Antony’s liturgy for Caesar (“For I have neither [. . .] utterance nor the power of speech/To stir men’s blood”) calls back to Flavius.
[The Navy Yard, Building 694, 1701 Langley Avenue] September 22-24, 2016. fringearts.com/julius-caesar-spared-parts/.
Featured photo by Luca Del Pia.