Acting Exercise: Demon Possession
Acting Exercise: Demon Possession is a video by Miljohn Ruperto that addresses notions of performativity, the self, and collective truth. Set in an empty, derelict room with nothing but an old mattress on the floor, the film features a series of actors independently performing a demonic possession, or at least their interpretation of what one would look like. Although each reenactment is slightly different, actor after actor, the viewer is confronted with a common thread: a near archetypal response that binds them all together. Hysterical laughter, a sinister voice, sudden movements, exaltation, moaning, pain, difficulty breathing and speaking, loss of the self—all form part of the satanic repertoire, and point towards our shared perception of the fictitious concept. Implicit in Ruperto’s acting exercise is a questioning of the notion of ‘objective truth’ set in contrast with the consensus of an agreed, subjective truth that we have socially constructed, and which we collectively share.