SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

Fort Mason Center, Golden Gate National Recreation Center

Mark Pauline/Survival Research Laboratories, Mysteries of the Reactionary Mind (4pm, 4th April 1981)



R/S: What was a specific idea of your Fort Mason performance?

MARK: Specifically Mysteries of the Reactionary Mind: an exploration of the mechanics underlying reactionary thought. Everyone likes to think they have specific ideas about things like religion and politics, so naturally, if you promote something on the basis of politics, people are going to be thinking of what you do in those terms. Whether it has anything to do with that or not, people are going to try to read into it. Then, all the images in it were just devil and horror images pretty much, like a reactionary horror movie. There was the devil on a moving platform with the bags of brown and black liquid that had bombs behind them--he was moving into position, jockeying, fighting against the radio car with the big claw that was stabbing at him, firing rockets at him. Then there was the clawing arms getting dragged across the ground, smashing after it went up a ramp and then fell. Then there was the stabbing arm which was stabbing pictures and blowing up the faces of those unfortunate people who presumably were tortured souls...tortured by reactionary thought. Then there was the BB machine firing at the glass...

R/S: Whose huge face was that?

MARK: Oh, that was Lucretia Borgia's father in Fritz Lang's film...her father was really mad at her because she poisoned some people. That was a picture of him really mad. He had his face ripped off by a spitting spike ball and then brown stuff squirted out from it. That was what it was. I don't know what connection it had to the poster, but those were some of the ideas and images you could have seen. (Pauline 1983)

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