Hosting the first person

Research output: Contributions to conferencesPaperpeer-review



I am an intimate durational performance maker. This means that I perform to a restricted number of audience members – often only one in turn – and time itself is a ma- terial of the encounter. My works are are based on Sig- mund Freud’s written case histories of hysterical patients. In order to translate the work from text into performance, created a method I call gHosting, in which I host the ghost of the patient in my own body. First, I read Freud’s writing with attention, carefully. On my second re-read, I re-write by hand the words I hear from the patient in the first per- son, erasing the voice of the doctor. I then record a reading of this new case history in my own voice and, instead of re- hearsing the performance, I play it back to myself repeated- ly, over several weeks. When I perform, I remember, rather than recite, what I hear, in the way the patients might have remembered occurrences or incidents when they told them to Freud. Thus, every one-to-one performance is different, an encounter created with the specific audience member in the room. My translation from case history to performance omits the doctor’s voice, and switches the patient’s words from third to first person – a powerful act of disguised writ- ing. For this performative lecture, I will create a ficto-criti- cal text, using poetic and / mimetic strategies to stage the- oretical questions, through merging the voices of classic hysteric patients with the writing of psychoanalysis and my own experience of performing the work. Ficto-criticism is a form of resistance, as well as a way to make and to critique. This work will raise questions about the historical and con- temporary medicalisation of hysteria and the role of the hysteric in resistance and revolt.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 28 Aug 2021
EventCARPA 7: Elastic Writing in Artistic Research - Uniarts Helsinki Theatre Academy, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 25 Aug 202128 Aug 2021
Conference number: 7


ConferenceCARPA 7: Elastic Writing in Artistic Research
Abbreviated titleCARPA
Internet address

Author keywords

  • writing, hysteria, first person, art, performance, Freud, Ida, Dora