As the World Burns

“One afternoon I was making tea in the upstairs kitchen and there were two new faces. An exotically beautiful woman in full curlers, A-line dress and pantyhose. She was languidly painting her fingernails and had on full makeup too. Full middle-class drag, I thought, being very pre-fatigue pants, anti-makeup, and extremely judgemental. Her companion was a slender, speedy, handsome guy with a bad haircut who was wearing a suit!!! He was running from floor to floor, taking care of last minute details for a performance that evening. “Probably theatre people,” I thought, and decided to go anyway as Kate was going to shoot the performance with our old friend Clive Robertson. Well. R & B knocked my socks off. It was quintessential performance and combined various media (video, text, music, design, performance etc.) in a synthesis that was greater than the sum of its parts. They took the form of television soap opera and used it to explore the nuclear family, the inherent fear of the ‘silent majority,’ the covert right-wing message from mass media entertainment, the pulse of violence that flows through the veins of the U.S. of A., as well as male/female language difference, to name just a few of the things I can recall from that evening. As camera operators, Kate and Clive walked freely with their hand-held video documenting the event. It was pretty damn thrilling. I have now known R & B for fourteen years and they are very dear friends.” - Margaret Dragu