The essence of Speak Bitterness is a line of people making confessions from behind a long table. The litany of wrongdoing to which they confess ranges from the big time of forgery, murder or genocide to nasty little details, such as reading each other’s diaries and refusing to take the dogs out for a walk.. An exhaustive catalogue, the text draws on the diverse cultures of confession in, for example, contemporary chat shows, churches and show trials. Dressed in suits, the performers compete to confess the most horrific, amusing or convincing things. Speaking softly, they meet the gaze of the audience (who are partly illuminated), drawing them into direct and intimate contact.
High quality multi-camera performance documentation recorded at the ICA, London, December 1995, 100 mins. approx.
Sinéad O'Donnell is one of Northern Ireland's foremost performance artists, with an international profile through numerous residencies and performances both nationally and internationally. Her work explores identity, borders and barriers...