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Host Paul Booth reviews this 2018 Official Selection to SXSW.
Synopsis: American performance artist Narcissister takes a smart, sassy, spectacle-rich approach to exploring the kinds of sexual fetishism that notoriously fix racial and gender stereotypes. She combines unabashed eroticism, humor, and poignancy to stretch viewers’ sensibilities and achieve surprising psychic effects. Narcissister Organ Player is originally a Bessie Awards–nominated performance that takes place in a metaphorical restaurant where Narcissister, unsated by a few spinach leaves, tries to eat the restaurant furniture and ends up “consuming herself” by entering and traveling through her own body, represented by an enormous onstage puppet. As the performance plays out on stage, in real life, her mother’s long-term illness brings on a decline that ends in death. The artist’s loss provokes an exploration of how her own complex, interracial family history has compelled her to create the masked, erotic performance character Narcissister. Enriched by Martha Colburn’s original animation, Narcissister Organ Player is a hybrid personal documentary/performance film that is a vibrant portrait of a family, a radical artistic practice, and an exploration of how ancestral data is stored in our bodies, impacting the lives we lead.