cinematic video
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Recipe [evacuee cake] consists of a series of traumatic inventories: video clips and voiceovers, as if to list the ingredients for a recipe to consume and discard excess humans and animals, AKA persons ‘nobody’ wants-- migrants, prisoners, persons without identification papers, persons in the crosshairs of the scary borders. The recipe starts with the unfolding listing of clips from performances in the remote California landscape, from a series called ‘naxsmash/memoires of a cyborg’ and ‘nax’, in which I am breathing while tied up, or out in the dirt beside a lake where bad stuff happened long ago, a place called ‘nacimiento’/ nativity. The performances involve breathing and stillness and waiting, traumatic, and imply what it feels like to be hunted, trapped, and consumed. I made them in the aftermath of escape from sexual trauma. To have your subjective consciousness hang on by a thread. To be evacuated. To lose your home. To lose your citizenship: to live on in ‘bare life’. There are three visual elements. The littoral zone of beach and estuary provides a setting in which the recipe is concocted, like a seaside “Walrus and the Carpenter” (Lewis Carroll). Repetitive clips of remote landscape performances from the naxsmash series form a recursive, aphasic topography. Stills of activists in 2007-2008 are blurred as people are protesting the Guantanamo prisoners’ torture and loss of rights. The ocean crashes over them, the foam swirls, white stuff like maybe the ‘brains of words’ in dissolution. The sound design clashes raucous street noise and drumming, the sound of a military snare, against layered voice. The voice is speaking a poem, “evacuee cake” : an aphasic fugue. The poem inspires the association of traumatic memory performance with the idea of evacuation. The film protests the political systems which feeds on humans, rendering them outside citizenship, ‘put into pies.”

Here is the text of the poem :
Evacuee cake / Molly McPhee, 2007

I am in receipt of words provided to me
Those that indicate we are reciprocals put into pies,
those surgical ones leading to a common maceration
Metrical, non-metric, cage, skull,
test of bars as lexical conversions, receipt with variation,
kits of taste.

Now wild words taste better so bitter whiskers against the bar
kitchen sashes, cull, play similars all

similars as to grow evacuee cakes,
minerals down buttresses
leaks into grip-tie emergencies
grow the garrison


deposit milks marbled culprits            the littlest nutrient, the biggest
new fairly voluptuous in liberty around
still muling
still nailing

Let me ask you what you are trying to say.
That's not what you said before. Name me five examples.
You can't even do that simple thing?
You live here for free. Pull your shit together.
You're crying already?
Get the fuck out of my vision.


Of the following, some are waves and some possible treats:
Organ juice solvent on the racks
a lobotomy yielding sweetbreads slippery of words provided,
earths of the released
evacuee cakes scoured with whip frets
Now carnivorous words taste worse so muscles ripped against the bar

Evisceration, then cooking

A recipe enters in throats vitriolic or vittles, now someone who wasn't fake
the girds contract sweats bloods
using more bills clips or leave unclipped to fly
from the arch of the gullet to quicklime

own wards pronounced anymore
for army splints only or
flung truants from bridges that boom

Don't Come

But all I wanted now you're gone was an animal to swallow and attest you never were.

Receipt of things to bake and fluff:
The brains of words,                              the crowns of panthers and illegals
scooped and opened to tissues,
hearings will sew up the next times still won't speak

we'll produce a slightly different texture deeper inside of us

Similars to expect:
scurried, torn, savory, mind numbing, and won,
Combine these, select similars:
roster pads, ghost arms, citizen
Positive, positive to be used in the mouth.

video link
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Dimensions: HD video 1920 x 1080 pixels

Duration: 05:38

Performance, videography and montage: Christina McPhee
Text: Molly McPhee, ‘evacuee cake’ , 2007 Photography: cc photographs by takomabibelot ayahthetiger, kcivey, lewishamdreamer, and arimoore
Additional performance videography: 2000-2003 Terry Hargrave
Sound Design: Christina McPhee