new-york

Dream Bardo

Franklin Furnace

From the apocalyptic imagery of its sets and costumes to its eccentric hillbilly music, Lambs Eat Ivy seems to embody southern-style outsider art, as if it were the performance counterpart of the Reverend Howard Finster. And, like Finster, this trio has definitely found a universe in its particular grain of sand. The group’s subject is mythology, from kundalini to Christ. The show at Franklin Furnace, Dream Bardo, 1989, documented a librarian’s journey through the Bardo state (the period between death and rebirth described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead). The trio (Nancy Andrews, Emma Elizabeth Downing, and Michael Willis) began the piece in the dark, with one member keening, another fiddling. Wearing a bouffant and horn-rim glasses, speaking in a deadpan drawl, the librarian (Andrews) described her death, which occurred while shelving a book. For much of the remaining piece she lay on

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