Freaks | A Performative Installation

Iteration 2 | Work in Progress| International Premiere

Ei! Marionettas Festival, Porto Portugal



Troy Hourie Installation Artist | Creator

enVide neFelibata Oddity Doll | Puppet Artisan

Andrew Gaboury Clown | Movement Specialist

Jerimiah Owens Composer | Sound Artist

Constantinos Soutos Media Technician


Special thanks to Teatro e Marionetas de Mandrágora

Artistic Directors: Clara Ribeiro, Filipa Mesquita and enVide neFelibata


In this iteration, I collaborated with enVide neFelibata in modifying the oddity dolls from the first iteration as well as building cabinets of wonder for each of the central characters. Each oddity doll was built from creepy vintage doll parts and found furniture wood turnings. Likewise, each cabinet of wonder is an assemblage of an antique Portuguese wood chair, a side table and a cabinet window.


The artwork was installed at the Casa Branca da Gramido as a mediated art installation exhibition for the duration of the festival and on two nights, I as the creator, animated the objects and space as a performance with my collaborators. We explored the use of live feed layered with prerecorded video from rehersal to skew perception of reality, time and space. This performance was two fold, a thirty minute immersive performance and then a twenty minute audience interaction piece where the spectators manipulated and discovered moments in the artwork, which triggered my collaborators to play music, project video and/or interact with them to encourage active participation.


Freaks | A Performative Installation combines installation the art, puppetry, media and performance aspects of my practice. This artwork will merge two long-term creative projects I have speculated during my career into one immersive performative installation. (I have created the term ‘performative installation’ to encapsulate my intentions as an artist to include myself (or the creative process) as a performance element in an installation artwork). Firstly, I have been inspired by Carlos Vilardebó’s film documenting Alexander Calder at play with his artwork “The Circus” in which he builds a narrative through the animation of the artwork itself. The discovery of this piece has already influenced past works where I have inserted myself as a performer in the artworks I created. As a scenographer, the second creative work I have longed to experiment with is Sweeney Todd, based on a penny dreadful story String of Pearls. Several outcast characters have been re-envisioned as the members of the freakshow in an amusement park like Coney Island. I have merged the carnivalesque with steam punk to expose the mechanics of movement of the environment. Four characters have become oddity dolls/puppets, built from found objects and toys and inhabit their own cabinet of wonder which collectively have built a evocative installation landscape. Eventually, I speculate that the piece will evolve into a short performance where I unpack the installation through play in front of an audience, building the installation around them as I go. Once the space has been established, the audience will then be invited to interact with it.


Video clip to be available by Sept 22 2020


Copyright 2013
Using Format