Phenomena of Materialisation, performed at Elephant; Los Angeles, California,  2015

This performance is inspired by narratives of Victorian mediumship and the book Phenomena of Materialisation, a text that documents scientific observations of séances by the medium Eva C. between 1909 and 1914. Like women stricken with hysteria, the mediums of the early 20th century fell into trances and displayed a wide variety of erratic behavior including bodily contortions, spontaneous vocalization, automatic writing, the channeling of sprits, and materialisation of ectoplasmic forms. The mediums altered states often revealed moments of desire that broke from the conventions of proper feminine conduct. Rehm looks to the liminal space of the trance state as a rich site for the creation and vocalization of potent female narratives

Photography by Safi Alia Shabaik