New York, 2012

King Tantalus was a seminal figure in Ancient Greek mythology. An ancestor of the House of Atreus - depicted in Aeschylus’ The Oresteia - Tantalus dined with the gods but offended them. Banished to Tartarus, there are differing accounts of his punishment.

According to Pindar, a rock perpetually lingered over Tantalus' head, always poised to fall. According to Homer, Tantalus stood thirsty and hungry with water and food just out of reach. This is the etymology of the word “tantalize.”

These two traditions collide in this site-specific performance installation. Spectators are guided through a modern building, descending flights of stairs to the basement floor. In a darkened space, through an opening, a man can be seen bound to a wooden slab floating in a pool of water. An enormous rock hangs overhead, dripping water.

Concept, Director, Sound: Jonathan Vandenberg
Sculpture: Yu-Han Huang, A Ram Kim, Chien-Yu Peng
Performer: Adam Roper
Technical Director: Tom Gilmore
Lighting: Joe Novak
Dramaturg: Erik Grathwohl
Producer: Regina Vorria


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