To supplement her exhibition at envoy enterprises, Rachel Mason donned the costume – including an impressive, architectural hat of papier-mâché – of her signature character, FutureClown, and performed a live version of her video, Filibuster. For this performance, she selected about thirty minutes’ worth of excerpts from Rand Paul’s 13-hour long, failed monologue against President Obama’s appointment of John O. Brennan as director of the CIA. Rachel also added excerpts from Wendy Davis’ recent filibuster to block Texas Senate Bill 5, one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws.
Over time, Rachel’s lip-synching begins to appear like a chilling, multi-headed invocation. In addition to Paul’s and Davis’ voices, FutureClown mouths the hydra of surrounding voices in the Senate, including debate, chatter, and procedural objections. Rachel’s presence becomes a funnel, a filtering embodiment of mixed motives and varying degrees of ingenuousness and indignation. In one of these “peripheral” passages, Senator Ted Cruz reads tweets in support of Paul (#StandwithRand). Another, which closes Rachel’s performance, is a quote from Davis’ Senate colleague, Leticia R. Van de Pute: “Mr. President, at what point does a female senator have to raise her voice or her hand to be heard over her male colleagues in the room?”
“In Filibuster, Mason seeks to understand the experience of being in the Senate and also what it feels like to participate in a challenge from within,” says the press release. “Highlighting the absurdity of present day politics, Mason also attempts to directly enter the political theater by uploading each hour of her 13 hour video in the exact same way the Senator does in a single Youtube playlist.”
Filibuster is curated by Tim Goossens.