Hidden treasures discovered while digging through Frank Moore's huge archives.

Tag: Out of Isolation (page 1 of 1)

Frank Moore – Out of Isolation, INTERDREAM

A piece written by Veronica Vera that was published in High Performance magazine, #53, Spring 1991.

Frank Moore communicates his world to his audience. It is a slow world built on trust. Because for a “crip” (Moore’s word to describe his cerebral palsy), time is elongated and things happen through cooperation. Frank Moore cannot move a distance of five feet on his own, but he can lead an audience by giant leaps through innerspace.

Out Of Isolation, Moore’s simple two-character video at The Kitchen, described the initial meeting and subsequent week of physical therapy between a spastic (Moore) and his nurse (Linda Sibeo). At first the patient was unresponsive to the nurse’s well-meaning but torturous, by-the-book approach: pulling at his limbs, massaging him with ice cubes and bristly paint brushes, petting and swatting him as she would a dog. Occasionally, she revealed a personal side, using the patient as her confidant. She decided to return on the weekend to pay him a non-professional visit, and by the end of the visit, they lay naked together, cuddling, sharing. Not only has the patient come out of isolation, but so has the nurse.

This is the pivotal message of every Frank Moore performance: that physical interaction—the sharing of energy, the sensual “eroplay”—is essential to life, and the more we strip it down to its basic level, the more we benefit from the force of the interaction.

That same weekend, Frank Moore and Chero company presented INTERDREAM as part of New York University’s “New Pathways For Performance” conference. Body painting, massage, primal music, chanted poetry—INTERDREAM contained all of Moore’s favorite methods of communication, including the shaman’s tent where he lay naked ready to receive audience members, collaborators, who chose to go deeper into the cave. Among the audience were members of “Disabled in Action” and “Artists With Disabilities. Inc.” They greeted his performance with enthusiasm, and contributed to bridging the gap between artist and audience.

Because I had performed with Frank Moore twice, I thought that if I entered the cave as merely one of the audience members, I might feel a let down. Blindfolded, I was led to a clear space on the shaman’s mat. I reached out and felt bodies, some clothed, some bare-skinned beneath my fingers. My clothes were a barrier, so I removed my blouse and bra. I felt Frank, his thick tongue and glasses, then I felt a woman’s breasts, legs and arms, and I couldn’t tell where one person ended and another one began. I lay with the god Shiva, half-man, half-woman, cradled by warm human flesh, so vulnerable, yet so safe. And then I began to cry. I cried my way out of isolation.

—Veronica Vera

Out of Isolation was presented at The Kitchen in New York City, October 6, 1990. INTERDREAM was presented at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, as part of “New Pathways In Performance,” October 7, 1990.

Veronica Vera is a literary artist. She is creator of The Theory of Sexual Evolution.

The article as published in High Performance. Photo by Eric Kroll.
Poster by LaBash.
The cover of the issue of High Performance that the article was published in.

Swamp Fest West 1990

Frank participated in Swamp Fest West in 1990 with a performance of “Out of Isolation” on Market Street in San Francisco at the Montgomery St. BART Station and then, a day later, with a reading, by poet Jack Foley, of his essay, “The Combine Plot” outside the entrance to the downtown Berkeley BART Station. Here are an assortment of materials and photos from the event.

All photos by Craig Glassner


Click on a thumbnail for a blow-up

Video with clips from both readings:


As published in Frankly Speaking: A Collection of Essays, Writings & Rants.

by Frank Moore, Thursday, September 19, 1996.

I originally wrote the play to have something to do with a guy, who would direct it.

I wrote it as a prose poem. As a poem, it has been published in many magazines and books in both the U.S. and England. One of the most amazing stories around the poem version of OUT OF ISOLATION is…

A 40 year old woman somewhere in the Midwest read it in a zine and started thinking about her baby sister who she had loved. The doctors told the parents the baby sister would be a vegetable without an IQ…and they should put her in an institution, put her out of their minds/hearts, and went on with their lives. Unlike my parents, they followed the doctors’ advice. But after reading OUT OF ISOLATION, the woman hired a detective to find her sister, without telling her parents (because the guilt would be too much…and pointless). It turned out the sister only had a slight case of cp, was adopted and has a successful life. The sisters re established their relationship.

If this was the only effect of my work, my work and life would be successful.

Anyway, when we were ready to cast the play, the director just chose an actress from the very first audition because he didn’t think we could get what we needed, so he settled…even though I told him when I direct I usually spend months finding the willing person for a part. But he was the director. The actress made it very clear from the start she wouldn’t do nudity. So the director threw out the nudity, not realizing that the nudity was not the real problem. The woman had a hard time even touching me! But the kicker was the actress saw the play as the nurse getting JIM out of the institution and into “the real world”. She kept making Jim look out a window to motivate him. I finally suggested to the director that he should tell her there ain’t no window. She totally freaked out and wrote us a Dear John letter. At that point he gave up on the project.

It took me a year after that to cast it. Linda Sibio had been in several of my ritual performances in Los Angeles….and she is a great performance artist in her own right. When I couldn’t find anybody in the San Francisco Bay Area, I asked her. She is very picky about what she enters into, but once she commits, she will do anything. We went down to L.A. for a week to shoot it. I had planned the first day to rehearse the whole piece…but when we were on the mat…without my board or Linda Mac…Linda Sibio just took off her clothes and eroplayed with me for two hours…and of course I’m flexible! Afterwards she said it was what she needed to get into the space/role. So we just shot the piece straight through each day for four days. I just spent a half hour before each day’s shooting going over with her the needed changes. The rest was improv.

Screen captures from the video

Out of Isolation complete video

Raw footage