YOUNG SHEEP THINKING ALOUD FROM INSIDE THE MOUTH OF A LION


Katy B Plummer

YOUNG SHEEP THINKING ALOUD FROM INSIDE THE MOUTH OF A LION is part of my larger project titled THE HOOVED AND THE CLAWED WILL CONSIDER THEIR VIOLENT BOND. It is based on Ibsen’s 1878 play, A Doll’s House, in which a young woman (Nora) suffers the dawning realisation that her petit-bourgeois husband does not in fact see her as an actual person. In the play, once this realisation sinks in, she simply walks out into the night carrying only her coat, abandoning him, her three children and the only version of herself she has ever known. I am conflating this narrative with a story of my own about a domestic lion, released for some reason into the wild, and I am picking up the narrative where Ibsen leaves off. In my version, Nora explodes into the huge, bright, terrifying world, completely disconnected from her instincts. She falls in love with a young sheep, confusing her intense hunger for intense attachment. The sheep (who knows instantly that he is dinner) sees Nora’s confusion and, rather than take advantage of it to save his own life, he holds still while she gets her bearings, to give her a chance to remember what kind of creature she is. (The sheep’s act of empathy and sacrifice represents a failure of the most basic evolutionary impulse, the will to live) This video is The Sheep’s soliloquy from the doorstep of his death, as he contemplates his own nature and the place that the world has assigned him.


Katy B Plummer is an installation artist working across video, textile and sculpture. Her practice is driven by material and narrative, with a heavy focus...

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