PREMIERED AT CELLSPACE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA (2010)
Balls to Balzac began by connecting Lewis’ conversations with composer Bill Wolter to the life of Honoré de Balzac, author of The Human Comedy. Relating these two figures led to a performance art dancelecture on the use of “balls” as slang, the term’s relationship to Honoré de Balzac, and Balzac’s portrayal of 19th century society women. Wolter’s use of the phrase “balls deep”, and the way in which this phrase relates to Balzac (called “balls-ache” by nineteenth century students) became the basis of their connection, though they are also tied together by their mutual belief that consumerism causes societal disruption. For Balzac, consumerism meant the increase of his reading public, and therefore his income, yet it also signified the fluidity of class boundaries and the dislocation and chaos that went along with rapidly changing social structures. Wolter agrees with some of the theories presented by Charles Eisenstein: “The commoditization of social relationships leaves us with nothing to do together but to consume. Joint consumption does nothing to build community because it requires no gifts….Consumption calls upon no one’s gifts, calls forth none of anyone’s true being. Community and intimacy cannot come from joint consumption, but only from giving and co-creativity.” (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition, 78)
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