This is not a cult.
Except it is. But it’s not, really. (Maybe kinda?)
Last weekend, as part of the 12th annual Version Fest, now lodged in its permanent (if there is such a thing as permanence in Chicago or the arts) home in Bridgeport, some friends of ours performed the final piece in a years-long project by one of our besties/collaborators, mia selph.
mia selph is the charismatic leader of Conclusionary Practices, an apocalyptic, trash-worshipping cult specializing in ritual and ecstatic dance, all while wearing costumes created with materials gleaned from the cast-offs of modern living. Beer tabs, cardboard tubes… maybe you recognize some of those robes?
Trash isn’t a new medium for mia selph, who scavenged bike parts to make stencils for a backdrop for our first World Naked Bike Ride photobooth, way back in 2009.
Since this last performance culminated in the destruction of these painstakingly created costumes (there was at least one instance of mailing a giant box of toilet paper tubes across the country to continue the collection, and throwing away pop-can tabs still feels wrong), we were on hand to document one of their dress rehearsals.
Some of their other performances (and photobooth detritus) were seen at Garbage World (ego sacrifice) and Reversible Eye (an evening of community) over the last couple of years. There is also a film, see you in 2013.
[all ofthe photos from Conclusionary Practices were taken by our own Sarah Joyce]