Sisters, My Sisters: Tremble, Tremble

Artist Niamh Moloney makes a poetic response to her role in Jesse Jones' Tremble Tremble, a performance work that is now on show in Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh

Feature by Niamh Moloney | 14 Jan 2019

Trimming the edges; sweeping the dust; stemming the flow of water. Tremble Tremble was birthed at the 57th Venice Biennale in a dark space in the Arsenale, where ghosts roamed and brushed our cheeks. Not frightening ghosts but ones that were lonely. Ones that just wanted to touch someone, to feel our warmth in that cold dark crumbling place.

Swishing past and around and back we moved together, pulling fabric through space. Joyful skips and beats and rhythm. Matching each other’s cadence, the foot falls the same. Drawing two curtains together until they formed clasped hands. That moment of creation and of conception. An idea born of its own volition without the force of construction. We were there together in this watery place, drying tears and shedding some more. Being together, moving together and speaking together.  

A trio in speaking and sharing and laughing and sleeping and burning in the sun. Tending to the space where the giantess towers over us inviting us to play her game of memory. Remembering those stories that have been passed down through the bones of time. Those women; Their faith; Their difference; Their torture; Their bridling; Their silencing.

My body releases her grief as I write this. This moment I recall sits in my throat where death lurks and truth speaks of women whom I revere. Who are like me, yet different. We are lovers of each other. Soulfully connected. The veil thin around us. A steady swish, the softness like rain on a soft day transforming into turbulent storms in a lagoon city that is drowning. We float to the surface. We always do. We are the witches that survived.

Tremate Tremate le streghe son tornate.

Tremble Tremble the witches have returned.

We have coexisted together before, known each other and rediscovered again each other in this life. Enveloped in maternal comfort we were safe walking the alleyways of the drowning city after dark, getting lost in her venous flows. We crouched by waterways speaking in whispers and making our offerings, telling tales of sex and of love, of pain and of death. Burning promises to the moon and to ourselves. The ghosts moved among us. Letters in our faces and our names, we are written into each other’s stories.

Sisters, my sisters, let us live in victory once more. Our bones are not hollow but heavy with memory. Encased as we were in the Ireland Pavilion, our bodies on the precipice of freedom from something now repealed. Tremble Tremble, a love story to you women who hear and see one another. Who teach of grief, of feeling and of knowing those things that we cannot always see. Of dreaming. Who danced through this dark space with me.

Tremble Tremble, Talbot Rice Gallery, until 26 Jan