Here, the bearded lady represents femininity in a way that is all at once mysterious, repulsive … and attractive … from a sort of independence that can neither be mastered nor put into some box. Here, femininity takes on a masculine quality—the beard but with “his” woman’s body.
The bearded woman can say and do anything because she’s not of the conventions of this world. She’s connected intimately to things of the ancient past and takes things back to the surface- madness, or extreme lucidity.
In Praise of hairiness, in praise of uselessness, in praise of a certain form of savagery.
This woman zestfully gives life to dead things: animal skulls, empty shells, egg yolks, things that we throw away after they’ve been used. Discussions between a ram skull, a badger skull, and the head of a bearded lady, the three of them placed on a table, bodiless. The human head cut off from its body, from its physical perception, exactly the same as in our contemporary Western culture. The ventriloquist allows us to play with the possibility of hearing other voices: those which reveal illusion and also the interior voice, the one that tells of things that are hidden away that rarely come to the surface.
The badger character is a buffoon, in direct contact with the audience, liberally making fun, laughing at his own jokes, and thus exhibiting his pathos. The ram is cultivated, professorial; he invites us to slash our wrists in order to observe and savor each stage of our own decomposition.
When the bearded lady manipulates objects or juggles, it’s the body that talks, that moves with purpose, the balancing of objects—bamboo, egg yolks—feet doing the job of hands.
These characters have gone beyond the weaknesses of the human condition. They speak to us of things far away and forgotten, from the bottom of our guts and thus … terribly contemporary.