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Suicide Attempt Doomed to Failure

Performance at CREATurE Festival in Kaunas, Lithuania, 2014


Text: excerpt from The Open Tension and Its Failures in Performance Art by Tomas Marcinkevičius

Photos by  Monika Deimling ©


Then there is the third kind of performance, one based around the concept of the show, the most traditional one, the one that might have been the stemming point of the very concept of “performance”. Tomasz Szrama shows us a magic trick, a true page-turner, his “Suicide attempt doomed to failure”, where he gets under-naked (takes off the underwear while leaving his clothes on), smokes a cigarette and tries to hang himself on the champagne cork. The build-up is masterful and, while looking around, I see all the concentrated faces, all the open mouths and glittering eyes. Everyone is involved, exactly in the way people like, in a voluntary way, and it is somewhat unsettling to see a person with a noose around his neck, while at the same time everyone secretly wishes that he would succeed. He succeeds in not-hanging himself, the champagne pops open way too easily, leaving us all in a state of pleasant disappointment: the sexual tension was there all along, but the orgasmic pop! was not as explosive as we expected.  

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