Photo Credit: Ethan Folk

Photos by Kurt Kladler

An Aesthetic Declaration, An Offering, An Analytic Scenario
A Prelude:

“An Exemplary Case of Love Without Respite” began at dawn on April 17th (5:02 a.m.) and continued without break, pause, or hesitation for 3 days. Each day began with a dawn installation and performance in an abandoned factory (“Semperitfabrik”) located in Traiskirchen, immediately followed by a 30km procession, which twice intersected as poetic homage, with Gunter Brus’ original route taken while performing Wiener Spaziergang (1965), (I was luckly enough to have Hermes Phettberg join me for the 2nd homage procession). Each day finished at the Charim Galerie (Event Space Schleifmühlgasse 1a, 1040 Wien) where an accumulating “re-creation” of each days dawn performance will took place, before the artist headed back to the factory to wait for the dawn and begin again.

“An Exemplary Case of Love Without Respite” represents what artist Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell described as “An Aesthetic Declaration, An Offering, An Analytic Scenario, and A Prelude”. An event that manifests through image, installation, transgression, procession,and performance, the inciting incident which provides an early, earnest, and fragile vocabulary and conceptual narrative that will be the aesthetic foundation for a series of large-scale and experimental operatic works, time-based site-specific satellite performances, and gallery presentations currently in development for presentation at The Donau Festival and The Wiener Festwochen.



“An Exemplary Case of Love Without Respite” Video Portrait from Saint Genet on Vimeo.

Film by: Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell and Alexander Nowak
Camera and Editing: Alexander Nowak
Music: Daniel Salo and Garek Jon Druss

“An Exemplary Case of Love Without Respite”  (trailer)

A two minute trailer documenting the project “An Exemplary Case of Love Without Respite” presented April 17th, 18th, and 19th, in an abandoned factory in Traiskirchen and the Charim Galerie. Direction and Concept Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell. Camera and Editing: Alexander Nowak. Music: Brian Lawlor Sound Engineering: Ryan Kelly

Love Me Or Kill Me, Brother

A final private moment finishing the 72 hour project “An Exemplary Case of Love Without Respite”. A tattoo placed on the body of directed Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell, is finally revealed to him by the artist MKNZ. Mitchell neither knew what the content of her work would be, and only consented to the fact that this action would happen on him 6 times over 3 days.

“Thus in Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, from the moment the curtain rises, we see to our utter stupefaction a creature flung into an insolent vindication of incest, exerting all the vigor of his youthful consciousness to proclaim and justify it. He does not waver an instant, does not hesitate a minute, and thereby shows of how little account are all the barriers that could be opposed to him. He is heroically criminal and audaciously, ostentatiously heroic. Everything drives him in this direction and inflames his enthusiasm; he recognizes neither earth nor heaven, only the force of his convulsive passion, to which the rebellious and equally heroic passion of Annabella does not fail to respond.

“I weep,” she says, “not with remorse but for fear I shall not be able to satisfy my passion.” They are both forgers, hypocrites, and liars for the sake of their superhuman passion which laws obstruct and condemn but which they will put beyond the law.

Vengeance for vengeance, and crime for crime. When we believe them threatened, hunted down, lost, when we are ready to pity them as victims, then they reveal themselves ready to render destiny threat for threat and blow for blow.

With them we proceed from excess to excess and vindication to vindication. Annabella is captured, convicted of adultery and incest, trampled upon, insulted, dragged by the hair, and we are astonished to discover that far from seeking a means of escape, she provokes her executioner still further and sings out in a kind of obstinate heroism. It is the absolute condition of revolt, it is an exemplary case of love without respite which makes us, the spectators, gasp with anguish at the idea that nothing will ever be able to stop it.

If we desire an example of absolute freedom in revolt, Ford’s Annabella provides this poetic example bound up with the image of absolute danger. And when we tell ourselves we have reached the paroxysm of horror, blood, and flouted laws, of poetry which consecrates revolt, we are obliged to advance still further into an endless vertigo. But ultimately, we tell ourselves, there is vengeance, there is death for such audacity and such irresistible crime. But there is no such thing. Giovanni, the lover, inspired by the passion of a great poet, puts himself beyond vengeance, beyond crime, by still another crime, one that is indescribably passionate; beyond threats, beyond horror by an even greater horror, one which overthrows at one and the same time law, morality, and all those who dare set themselves up as administrators of justice.

A trap is cleverly set, a great banquet is given where, among the guests, hired ruffians and spies are to be hidden, ready at the first signal to throw themselves upon him. But this hero, cornered, lost, and inspired by love, will let no one pass sentence on this love.

You want, he seems to say, my love’s flesh and blood. Very well, I will throw this love in your face and shower you with its blood–for you are incapable of rising to its height! And he kills his beloved and tears out her heart as if to feast upon it in the middle of a banquet where he himself is the one whom the guests had hoped to devour. And before being executed, he manages to kill his rival, his sister’s husband, who has dared to come between him and his love, and despatches him in a final combat which then appears as his own spasm of agony.”

-A. Artaud


Toronto’s Luminato Festival

We were honored to be in Toronto presenting the Canadian premiere of Paradisiacal Rites at the prestigious Luminato Festival, June 10-14.

From Luminato’s website: “Paradisiacal Rites is artistic provocateur Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell’s most ambitious piece to date. A non-narrative exploration of American hysteria, nationalistic vanity and utopian fervor, Paradisiacal Rites examines the delirious final moments of The Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, the madness attached to the Charles Manson murder trials, and manic derangement, through an obsessive commitment to the Oscars. It transforms elements of ballet, symphony, opera and installation into hypnotic and visceral performance. Everything and nothing is sacred.”

Paradisiacal Rites was co-commissioned by Luminato Festival (Toronto) and (Krems). It’s creation was also made possible with support from over 150 individuals through our USA Projects Fundraiser.

Saint Genet also thanks Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation for a USArtists International travel grant to help support our travel to Luminato.

Read a review in Charpo Canada

New review from “The Dance Current” 


Luminato Festival Ancillary Performances

June 10th – 14th

For Luminato’s Paradisiacal Rites premiere, Mr. Mitchell pursued another  series of “action images” at secluded and secret locations in and around Toronto. His site and time specific performance exhibitions known as Variations i, ii, iii, iv, v will began at Dawn (5:36am) and continued with the recreation of Buster Simpson’s Woodman as a 34k procession to Daniel Faria Gallery where Saint Genet exhibited Chris Burden’s SHOOT, alongside the documentation of the recreation of SHOOT and its artifacts Other action images occurred at 4:00pm in the gallery. A final procession led to MOCCA inciting the first actions of Paradisiacal Rites.

These impossible performance exhibitions created dramatic illusions affecting and changing the real history and interpretation of the large-scale experimental opera Paradisiacal Rites. These “Variations” operate and highlight real, dramatic, and historic/poetic time. They are each an exercise of “volitionlessness”; an exploration of the dissolution of ego and the release of consciousness into the structure of the performance/procession. Slowly becoming an image of the ultimate subtraction, the death of the self, which, as it materializes, is refused.

If, as Mitchell posits, by way of Herbert Blau, that the pivotal mechanism of the Theatre is the idea of punishment, whether in comedy or tragedy; that if, indeed, there is an Eternal Return it moves through punishment (the ordeal) like a compulsion dream; then there is a sense that every performance is a trial, the processions/action/images/and ghosts of past performances improvise a history that litters Toronto’s landscape with unnameable deeds, offering up evidence. This complex process allowed the walls of the theatre (MOCCA) to become diaphanous, turning the theatre into a memory place with an ever changing and unrecorded history.

Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell

Saint Genet MMXIII

Saint Genet: MMXIII from Saint Genet on Vimeo.
Saint Genet is proud to present a brief trailer of Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell’s re-creation of Christopher Burden’s Shoot, the 2 hour performance in Pioneer Square Nearly, Nearly Invisible, and Paradisiacal Rites at On the Boards.
Please be on the look out of the extended version produced in partnership with Northwest Film Forum.

A pre-dawn fever dream atop the Fischer Flour Mill

A Film by Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell and Wes Hurley from wes hurley on Vimeo.

This 5-minute short film created with the talented filmmaker Wes Hurley and directed by Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell, was shot in Seattle and features screen appearances by Mitchell, Alan Sutherland, Jessie Smith, Jim Kent, Matt Drews, Darren Dewse, Tom Chapel, Carl Lawrence, Kate Ryan, Lily Nguyen, NKO, Casey Curren and Kyle Gaston. Score by the talented musicians of Saint Genet, Garek Jon Druss & Brian Lawlor and Salo, from their work for our upcoming performance “Paradisaical Rites.”  The film screened on Sunday, March 17 MMXIII.
Film contains content for mature audiences