DAGGER was a solo performance and video project, performed and created by Clarind Mac Low. Mac Low also wrote the sound scores for each iteration, and worked on ideas for video design, in collaboration with a host of designers. It was “in progress” from 2005-2008, with approximately seven different iterations.
Based loosely on Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, DAGGER uses the language and the situations of the play as a fractured mirror of our own times of unsettled political interventions, explosive backlash and impotent demagoguery. Through deeply embodying Shakespeare’s language and a kaleidoscope of perspectives in one person, I wanted to infuse the piece with a deeply personal note that hit home on a level under the skin. DAGGER is a live suspense film, a series of questions, a collection of forces and resolutions–a solo with one body and many voices that digs into the inner life of tyrants and the tyrants inside us, investigating the motivations and consequences of the human lust for political power, and encouraging viewers to question what’s said to them, how it’s said and where it’s said. Each iteration uses a variety of video surveillance media to bring the outside in and incorporate the entire performing space into the performance where watchers become the watched.
With DAGGER, I began a process of making work where each iteration tested out methods of making rather than actual material, so no two performances were alike, and the same content would find different forms. Each “in-progress” piece was a complete performance in its own right, a one-time experience that was not repeated in the next “in-progress” piece.