Thursday, July 16, 2015

The First Annual Morbid Anatomy Saint Florian Gowanus Pageant

The First Annual Morbid Anatomy Saint Florian Gowanus Pageant Call for Works
Sunday, August 16th

Call for works now ended. You can see full lineup and details here and below. Tickets can be found here.

Thanks, and hope to see you there!


--E. P. Bell (graduate student, Rutgers University) tracing the roots of this lost ritual and how it was discovered
--Forensic Pathologist Jay Stahl-Herz, MD on the post-mortem challenges presented by bodies found in water
--Ksenya Malina on processional banners used by members of lay confraternity orders in medieval and Renaissance Italy
--AMNH's Erin Chapman with "A Short Illustrated Bestiary of the Gowanus"
--Lady Ayea on the complexities involved in finding the right patron saint for sideshow performers with sword swallowing demonstration
--Urban explorer Will Ellis (Abandoned NYC) about The Batcave, a famous Gowanus abandoned space
--Professor Amy Herzog: TBA

--Short films curated by Imagine Science Films at the intersections of art, science and the grotesque
--Jonah Patrick King's film "the Dowsers," which follows a New Age activist cult who worship water in a world where it has been privatized
--Guilherme Marcondes' film Caveirão, an urban fable about ghost in abandoned outskirts of Sao Paulo
--Nicole Antebi's film Riparianism, an animated film which re-imagines a national anthem around the "most" polluted waterways in this country

--Comedian and musician Jessica Delfino with a stirring rendition of "Ghosts of Oysters Past"
--Song by Kim Boekbinder


Original Call for Works:
We are seeking short pieces--talks, performances, screenings, spectacles--for Gowanus Canal and Saint-themed event taking place on Sunday August 16th to benefit the Morbid Anatomy Museum.

Details follow below. If you are interested, please email your proposal or area of interest to laetitia [at] or joanna [at]

On Sunday, August 16th, please join us for what we hope will be the first annual pageant honoring Saint Florian, patron saint of flooding and firemen. Gowanus residents are keenly aware that our livelihoods rely on the Gowanus Canal not overflowing its banks. By creating a new ritual to honor and assuage Saint Florian, we can both draw attention to this predicament and develop new rituals to serve as a basis for a new community, all with a sense of whimsy and spectacle.

The pageant will begin with a procession in which we will carry a papier mâché effigy of The Saint along with (we hope) a band from the museum to the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Court on Union Street (about a 10 minute walk). A few words will be said about the ritual, and our new genesis myth for the Gowanus will be articulated.

At the Shuffleboard Court, a fictional graduate student will present a short illustrated lecture tracing the pageant back to a its also fictional 19th century Gowanus roots. Following will be a Gowanus-themed variety show with a number of short presentations and performances, and a party where guests are invited to come in costumes inspired by ideas of the Gowanus.

This is a call for short works for the party. Pieces should run 5-20 minutes of length, and respond (in at least a vague way) the idea of the Gowanus Canal or the procession itself. The monstrous, the mutated, the polluted, the toxic, the abject, aquatic life, industrial throughways, lost causes, mob deaths, gonorrhea, gentrification, ritual, religion, folklore, martyrdom, the spectacular… the list goes on. Works could be talks, performances, screenings, spectacles, projections, and more. The venue has a projector, and we will be given a small stage. We also need help with sets, props and costumes for the procession, so if you are interested in that, let us know!

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