Endless Medication is a theatre event created in 2003 by the Flemish performance artist Marijs Boulogne in collaboration with the Walloon actress Manah Depauw. The premiere starred the two of them; currently, however, Depauw’s role is taken by the Flemish actress Sara De Bosschere (De Roovers collective).
Endless Medication tells the story of Rosa, a girl who cannot weep. She is made pregnant by the JesusChristMachine - possibly a reference to Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine - and is soon to give birth - through her intestines - to God’s grandson. God appears in the form of a talking bulb and the pregnancy takes on the form of a watermelon growing under Rosa’s skirt. Because the child is developing in Rosa’s intestines it encumbers her metabolism: the watermelon must be cut/aborted. With God’s help Rosa finally gives birth (from her leg) to a little boy who never cries. The story ends with Rosa’s incarceration in a madhouse, an infanticide, and a trial in which Rosa is condemned to endless medication.
The performance is realised in the basic inventive style
of fairground theatre. Marijs Boulogne treats the tricks
of theatre in a childlike, lucid, but also perverse manner.
A scatologic potence is hidden behind the apparent
innocence of these two energetic, jolly, carefree girls.
As a result of its subject - the conception and birth of
the grandson of God, as well as the unforced, self-evident
way in which they handle obscenity and violence,
engenders a form of religiously-tinted pornography.
The name of the girl - Rosa - derives from the Saint Rosa of Lima (1586-1617), and similarly to the experiences of many female mystics from that period, religious ecstasy all too easily turns into highly sexually charged delirium. The sacral and blasphemous go hand in hand. As with Boulogne’s later projects, Endless Medication is dominated by a radical, female corporality with particular focus on the interior of the body. Rather than the breasts or the belly she is interested in the cunt and the intestines, shit, menstruation and bodily fluids in general. The disorder that Rosa’s pregnancy causes her body finds its antithesis in the chaos, filth and dirt left behind on the stage at the end of the performance. At the same time this work can also be seen within the context of Flemish historical sensibilities re the grotesque, the macabre and the vital. Marianne Van Kerkhoven
Organisation: City of Women
In collaboration with: KUD France Prešeren