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Lecture Performance by Himali Singh Soin
duration : 25 mins, available as performance, MP3 and printed text.
Giving Birth to Beauty presents an adaptation of a largely un-noticed section of Plato's Symposium. The only woman to appear in the dialogue, and only via the voice of Socrates, Diotima describes Love as a male midwife, giving "birth to beauty", procreating in-between the beautiful and the good, between the ugly and the bad, between plenty and poverty, "it always is and neither comes to be "... The performance re-imagines the language of Diotima's speech in Plato's Symposium as one that proposes a rebirth and a non-dual, queer way of being.
The performance interrupts the text, pouring over language giving birth to meaning without the authorial voice of narrative. It enters into conversation with the Greek Urn from Keats' poem--the poet was a former surgeon at King's College--in order to labour away at a post-human thought process. Our in-betweenness relies on our relinquishing the self: birth and death at once. What would the vessel think? How do we occupy the liminal even as the water breaks?