An interactive performance installation that premiered at the 56th Venice Biennale 2015 with 9dragonheads in the official collatoral event Jump Into the Unknown-

You see a tent, hear a sound like whispered fire. You can see, hear inside the tent through eye pieces, ear pieces. You are greeted by... a rabbit? a fortune teller? You chose some unusual cards. She goes to a table full of small objects, talking to herself? To you? She is choosing something for you, trying to get it right. She looks at you, moves as if she is trying to tell you something, then she sings to you. When she finishes, she hands you a small gift and closes the curtain.

     Inspired by a desire to cleanse the heart, this performance installation invites the audience to choose elements that affect an ever-changing performance loop integrating music, digital technology, poetic text, art objects and singing. In a self-contained mini theatre, the artist, attempts to maintain a deeply authentic process that is altered by every interaction. What she says, sings and gives you is all in response to what you chose- some things set, some things intuitive. The audience can observe/hear the performer through a variety of instruments while one person at a time influences the performers choices.

Watch for 5 minutes, or for 30... If you 'play', one full loop is approximately 15-18 minutes long.


Concept, text and Performance- Erika Batdorf

Mask- Ida Ayu Laksmi Maha Dewi

Electronics, Sound Design and Art Objects- Mark-David Hosaie

Costume and Art Objects- Suzanne Bartos

Structure Design and Lighting- Ian Garrett


Audience Comments 

from the Venice Biennale and The Theatre Centre May 2015


-I’m speechless. This touched me to my core. Thank you so much…

-I felt you were my shaman

-Thanks so much- well done, Very emotional

-It felt a little like a séance, as if you were calling on my spirit, rather than someone else’s.

-I feel somehow healed from the thought of where our origin of fear is. Thinking… thank you.

-I felt like I was taken to a completely other world, I was so… in wonder.

-I feel like I’ve been seen and I saw something new. Thank you

-A journey out of time and space right in to the heart.

-With a few choices I feel like you’ve told me more than I could think with something so small.

-I wanted to say how awesome Burnish was! The installation of the tent was incredible. I loved being able to look in through different aspects of the tent and provided a different experience when watching someone personal performance vs. having your own personal performance. It was calming, creative, informative, and of course, enjoyable

-I thoroughly enjoyed Burnish.  I loved watching you and walking around the 'tent'.  I was surprised at how moving I found being in the 'hot seat'.  Thank you.

-Very contemplative and quiet

-I needed this so much right now. Good tears ran all the way down my neck. Thank you. Beautiful and oxygenating.

-I know this will stay with me for a long time, thank you.

-I got it, fear is a fiction… I will take that with me forever.

- a haunting and magical performance installation