To prove her zeal, one woman ate mud.
Brody Condon's work is concerned with what he sees as the over-identification with fantasy prevalent in American culture, and its current effect on the social and political atmosphere of the United States. Over the past few years, he has attempted to understand the relationship between fictional worlds, the history of radical Protestantism, and the political and cultural foundation of this country. With that in mind, Condon designs performances that utilize live action role-playing (LARP) techniques whereby he creates and populates temporary communes. While living at the fictionalized site, the group critically explores these issues in an experiential manner. For his exhibitions, Condon records on video these unscripted and often disorienting interactions, documenting them in an ethnographic style.
To prove her zeal, one woman ate mud. took place on a small commune conceived specifically for this project, inside a seven-story mill tower and the nearby grounds of a working farm in the town of Wassaic, New York. The process combined elements from unorthodox 1940s American monastic communities like Trabuco College, group encounter techniques such as Gestalt Therapy, and contemporary science fiction. As the role players developed their characters, they engaged in daily group therapy sessions led by an abstract sculpture imagined to have unknown powers, which the artist inserted into the action as a non-human player. The video on view at The Aldrich presents the artist's rendering of this fantastical world, while a second recording makes public for the first time Condon's performance workshop procedures and process.