Amelia Beavis-Harrison

Performance

For too long we have accepted intelligence as a hierarchical structure, allowed intelligence to inform our responses and demean those lesser informed. But is intelligence not just a social construct like that of religion, are we not just falling for the same power structures religion once imposed. The unquestioned identity of intelligence has been prevalent for long enough.

The performance takes two familiar situations and pushes them together, the IQ test and the lecture / sermon. The audience takes part in both, physically undertaking an intelligence test with a difference, whilst enduring a monologue that questions the reality of intelligence. The two scenarios begin on a par as the audience begins the test. Gradually the character of the speaker, a pseudo-representation of religion that questions the essence of intelligence in comparison to that of religion, comes into play.

The speaker’s voice takes over that of the tester and the intelligence test becomes near impossible to complete. The performance aims to question the construct of intelligence and uses religion as a comparator, measuring our assumed roles within both contexts, and our accepting of the situations presented. It aims to explore the criteria for intelligence and question its value.

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