Has anyone ever said, “Oh, The Rite of Spring…that’s been done.”? I doubt it and if they had no one would take them seriously. But seriously…how many times has the Rite of Spring been used by various choreographers.
But when we talk about drinking one’s own urine in a performance…that’s been done. And yes, it has been done. Someone somewhere sometime drank his or her own urine on stage. Maybe it was shocking to the audience, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe the urine drinker wasn’t even going for shock value. Maybe it was a metaphor for the nitrogen cycle on the earth or how everything that can be considered waste is really useful in another way or useful to someone else.
But if the original pee drinking premiere was going for shock value, s/he has not shocked me, as I have not seen the performance. Thinking about urine drinking does take the shock out of it. If in a Mark Morris Dance Company suddenly one dancer urinates in the mouth of another dancer..that would be shocking. If two performers at a venue such as CounterPulse in San Francisco performed a similar act…not as shocking. In either context, the act of drinking urine would be less shocking if the audience knew about it before hand.
Removing the idea of context based on performers, venue, or foreknowledge, the act of urophagia would still shock me. Maybe shock is not the right word…startle…surprise…But as I have never seen urophagia and never performed it myself, I would be starprised (new word, you read it here first!).
– But it’s been done. We, as the collective human consciousness, don’t need to go through that again – to paraphrase and misquote a friend of mine. If this were true, about the collective human consciousness, then as soon as a group of humans have experienced something, the rest of humanity doesn’t need to experience that something.
At what point have enough homo sapiens sapiens experienced “x” so that the rest do not need to endure/enjoy “x”?