The performer slices grapefruit in front of the projected image of a woman's smiling mouth from a family snapshot

Citrus

tape, voice, food blender, electronics, grapefruit & slides [25’] 1993.

Commissioner: Richard Dale
Funder: Creative New Zealand
Premiere: Juliet Palmer, SoundCulture Japan, Tokyo, January 27, 1993.
Ars Electronica: honourable mention, 1994
Voices: C. Bryan Roulon, Matt Wuolle, Mark Zaki, Josefina Calzada-Garza, Christoph Erlenkamp, Jeffrey Fourmaux, Juliet Palmer, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Janet Parker

Program note:

Beginning with a photograph I hold dear of my grandparents proudly displaying bunches of home-grown grapefruit, I set out to make this image resonate through my obsessive expression of this personal icon. I wanted to turn the grapefruit into sound.

Grapefruit.

I searched for texts using the words pulp, juice, juicy, grapefruit, squeeze, peel… Then I found and recorded people who seemed ‘right’ for the scenarios and characters these texts evoked. I recorded the fruit themselves: cut into pieces, sucked, juiced and drunk. I listened to the recordings and found that the most interesting moments were when the tape recorder caught people off-guard in their attempts to assume the new identities the written texts suggested. Not only did these ‘found’ words take me to a place apparently far from my family and the fruit, but my friends’ voices and personalities tapped into tones and emotions I had not expected. I wanted to stage an intense physical interaction with the fruit itself. A cadenza for blender and 75 grapefruit was born and is now the fulcrum of the entire performance piece. During the first 10 minutes I feverishly chop as many fruit as possible into segments which the audience devour before I deal the final electric blow to the remaining fruit. In the end, all that remains is to drink deeply and to sing.