Reading-Performance: Caroline Bergvall, My Chaucer, 2008, with Mario Diaz de Leon
June 10, 2008, 7:30 PM, Dia at the Hispanic Society
Dia at the Hispanic Society Broadway between 155th and 156th Streets New York City
Caroline Bergvall and Mario Diaz de León present the reading-performance My Chaucer. Splicing together present-day English with French, Middle English, Norse, lost Latin, and some altogether untraceable words, while quoting Emma Goldman, BBC communications, and other sources, Bergvall's contemporary tales feast on a strange, ill-assorted Euro-lingo. The rich palate of Chaucer's medieval Canterbury Tales is the active backdrop for pointed or humorous commentaries on today's corruptions, pleasures, and blind spots; meanwhile Diaz de León's music, abstractly evoking medieval and contemporary elements, supports and engages in its own dialogue with the text. Melodies are performed on 36-string zither and textural noise guitar. A screwed-up insectile funk and protest mood emerges from this offbeat carnival of songs.