Cow is a performance piece employing spoken word and video.
Inspired initially by an Oxford Times article regarding an attacking cow, Kounadea wished to give voice to the cow to make an apology. When the human trait of language was gifted to the cow, the fascinatingly overlapping world between two different species was revealed.
The work uses the tools of metaphor and pun to explore the relationship between women and cattle and consequently, the one of humans and animals and results in raising a question regarding hierarchy and roles in the context of human, animal and inter-species relationships in contemporary society.
Cow (dur. 10 min) consists of two acts.
The stage persona resembling the archetypical image of the silent movies’ femme fatal, introduces herself to the audience by uttering a list of self-describing statements. Her monologue addresses the audience, capturing their attention inviting them to look and listen to her only for them to discover that her words, seemingly casual, actually sway between cryptic and funny. The first act ends with a lack of resolution for the audience.
The female performer turns on a projection and, while she walks away, we watch footage of a cow in a field and the previously spoken monologue being played back by the recording. Now every single word reveals its hidden meaning. The audience has cunningly been trapped into a parable, knowing not whether to laugh or feel guilty as they are slowly being confronted with the connections between these two seemingly unrelated creatures.
- 15 Minutes Factory, Queen of Hoxton, London
- Tour De Bord Experiment, Bow Road Warehouse Unit, London
- Oxford Pride, The Jam Factory, Oxford
For video documentation of a studio version of Cow please click here.